Notes for a Memoir: On Isaac Asimov, Life, and Writing

Notes for a Memoir: On Isaac Asimov, Life, and Writing

by Janet Jeppson Asimov
     
 

This charming book is a series of entertaining and thought-provoking musings, mainly about the imagination, the sense of identity, the compulsion to write, and Isaac Asimov—who, as Janet Asimov says, was good at all of them. Dr. Janet J. Asimov, a psychiatrist and celebrated fiction writer, has penned this delightful memoir with insight, poignancy, and wit on

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Overview

This charming book is a series of entertaining and thought-provoking musings, mainly about the imagination, the sense of identity, the compulsion to write, and Isaac Asimov—who, as Janet Asimov says, was good at all of them. Dr. Janet J. Asimov, a psychiatrist and celebrated fiction writer, has penned this delightful memoir with insight, poignancy, and wit on topics that she and her husband, Isaac Asimov, found especially meaningful over the years. From profound issues such as religion, philosophy, sex, personal identity, and mortality, to lighter subjects such as traveling together, camping, the golden thirties, and the problems and joys of writing, Asimov reveals many new and fascinating details about two engaging and creative people whose greatest creation—in addition to their writings—was the life they made together.

Replete with new information about Isaac Asimov and never-before-published excerpts from his witty letters to her, in addition to family photos, this collection of personal reminiscences complements Isaac Asimov’s highly acclaimed one-volume autobiography, It’s Been a Good Life, which Janet Asimov edited. The Times Literary Supplement praised it as "an excellent introduction to his vision and his personality."

Janet Asimov concludes this singular memoir with her own short stories, many published in magazines, but never before collected together in one book. Notes for a Memoir is guaranteed to delight, entertain, and inspire.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Although a psychiatrist by profession, fiction writer Asimov resists the temptation to over-analyze her relationship with husband Isaac Asimov, the prolific science fiction writer, in this lively nonfiction narrative. Keeping her recollections light and warm....Asimov's memoir is a readable testament to a happy, productive union between two intelligent and creative individuals....Readers familiar with Isaac Asimov the writer will enjoy his wife's take on Isaac Asimov the man, from his tireless sense of humor to his extraordinary intellectual capabilities, as well as his unusual role as leading man in a touching love story."
Publishers Weekly

"Janet Asimov has written a fascinating book on her late husband, his work, and her astute observations on this most excellent example of our species....While writing an in-depth book on as strong a character as Isaac Asimov, Janet still manages to be seen above the seriously important anecdotes she relates, as a real person, one who stood with her husband in his task of enlightening the world; she nicely avoids being lost in his glow. The woman who told her husband-to-be, the night before their wedding, that she was afraid of losing her identity as a result of their union, never had that happen."
James Randi

"Although her primary livelihood is that of a respected New York psychiatrist, her essays and stories in this collection reveal a literary intelligence every bit as sharp as that of her famous spouse [Isaac Asimov].... Isaac’s fans will be pleased by the abundance of amusing anecdotes she tells about him....[S]he impresses with her knack for entertaining while informing."
Booklist

Library Journal
Psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and writer Janet J. Asimov (ed., It's Been a Good Life) was married to polymath Isaac Asimov from 1973 until his death in 1992. In this collection of family photographs, fiction, and excerpts from letters never before published, she describes her life with Isaac and her thoughts and ideas about life in general. Isaac was born into a Jewish family and Janet into a Mormon one, and Janet lovingly and carefully describes the couples' differences and similarities here. She shares her thoughts on reading, writing, travel, personal growth, and organized religion. Janet's training as a doctor and psychiatrist are important aspects of her struggle to develop a personal philosophy; her view of personal growth and happiness and the importance of helping people ultimately led her to a humanistic philosophy. Janet's writings about Isaac's death and her resulting grief are poignant and moving. A selection of her short stories concludes the book and highlights many of her ideas. Recommended for popular libraries; a fun read for Isaac Asimov fans.-Gene Shaw, NYPL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591024057
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
05/28/2006
Pages:
220
Product dimensions:
6.21(w) x 9.28(h) x 0.73(d)

Meet the Author

Janet J. Asimov, MD, is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, the author of twenty books and many short stories and articles, and the editor of the widely acclaimed It’s Been a Good Life by Isaac Asimov. For many years she also wrote a bimonthly science column for a newspaper syndicate.

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