Twelve Years: An American Boyhood in East Germany / Edition 2

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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

In this singular memoir of a period crucial for the postwar world, Agee writes from his unusual perspective as a member of a family that voluntarily chose to live behind the Iron Curtain.

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Editorial Reviews

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."

 

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

Guardian

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

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
A wonderfully evocative memoir.... Agee evoked for me the atmosphere of postwar Berlin more vividly than the actual experience of it &#8212 and I was there.
New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226010502
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 334
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Joel Agee has translated numerous German authors into English.

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