Twelve Years: An American Boyhood in East Germany

Twelve Years: An American Boyhood in East Germany

by Joel Agee
     
 

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Joel Agee, the son of James Agee, was raised for twelve years in East Germany, where his stepfather, the novelist Bodo Uhse, was a member of the privileged communist intelligentsia. This is the story of how young Joel failed to become a good communist, becoming instead a fine writer.

"A wonderfully evocative memoir. . . . Agee evoked for me the atmosphere of

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Overview

Joel Agee, the son of James Agee, was raised for twelve years in East Germany, where his stepfather, the novelist Bodo Uhse, was a member of the privileged communist intelligentsia. This is the story of how young Joel failed to become a good communist, becoming instead a fine writer.

"A wonderfully evocative memoir. . . . Agee evoked for me the atmosphere of postwar Berlin more vividly than the actual experience of it—and I was there." —Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times

"One of those rare personal memoirs that brings to life a whole country and an epoch." —Christopher Isherwood

"Twelve Years consists of a series of finely honed anecdotes written in a precise, supple prose rich with sensual detail." —David Ghitelman, Newsday

"By turns poetic and picturesque, Agee energetically catalogues his expatriate passage to manhood with a pinpoint eye and a healthy American distaste for pretension. . . . Huckleberry Finn would have . . . welcomed [him] as a soulmate on the raft." —J. D. Reed, Time

"A triumph. . . . Unfettered by petty analysis or quick explanations, a story that is timeless and ageless and vital." —Robert Michael Green, Baltimore Sun

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Editorial Reviews

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
A wonderfully evocative memoir.... Agee evoked for me the atmosphere of postwar Berlin more vividly than the actual experience of it — and I was there.
New York Times
Guardian

One of the "Top 10 Books about the Berlin Wall."
Baltimore Sun

“A triumph. . . . Unfettered by petty analysis or quick explanations, a story that is timeless and ageless and vital.”

— Robert Michael Green

Time

“By turns poetic and picturesque, Agee energetically catalogues his expatriate passage to manhood with a pinpoint eye and a healthy American distaste for pretension. . . . Huckleberry Finn would have . . . welcomed [him] as a soulmate on the raft.”

— . J. D. Reed

New York Times

“A wonderfully evocative memoir. . . . Agee evoked for me the atmosphere of postwar Berlin more vividly than the actual experience of it—and I was there."

 

— Christopher Lehmann-Haupt

Christopher Isherwood
“One of those rare personal memoirs that brings to life a whole country and an epoch.”

Baltimore Sun - Robert Michael Green
“A triumph. . . . Unfettered by petty analysis or quick explanations, a story that is timeless and ageless and vital.”
Time - . J. D. Reed
“By turns poetic and picturesque, Agee energetically catalogues his expatriate passage to manhood with a pinpoint eye and a healthy American distaste for pretension. . . . Huckleberry Finn would have . . . welcomed [him] as a soulmate on the raft.”
New York Times - Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
“A wonderfully evocative memoir. . . . Agee evoked for me the atmosphere of postwar Berlin more vividly than the actual experience of it—and I was there."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374279585
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
05/01/1981
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
324

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J. D. Reed
By turns poetic and picturesque, Agee energetically catalogues his expatriate passage to manhood with a pinpoint eye and a healthy American distaste for pretension…Huckleberry Finn would have…welcomed [him] as a soul mate on the raft.

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