Unrooted Childhoods: Memoirs of Growing Up Global

Overview

A fusion of voices and experiences from every corner of the globe, Unrooted Childhoods: Memoirs of Growing Up Global presents a cultural mosaic of today's citizens of the world. Twenty stirring memoirs of childhoods spent packing, written by both world-famous and first-time authors, make the story of growing up displaced feel universal. Best-selling fiction and non-fiction authors Isabel Allende, Carlos Fuentes, Pat Conroy, Pico Iyer, and Ariel Dorfman contribute powerful and deeply personal accounts of mobile ...

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Unrooted Childhoods: Memoirs of Growing Up Global

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Overview

A fusion of voices and experiences from every corner of the globe, Unrooted Childhoods: Memoirs of Growing Up Global presents a cultural mosaic of today's citizens of the world. Twenty stirring memoirs of childhoods spent packing, written by both world-famous and first-time authors, make the story of growing up displaced feel universal. Best-selling fiction and non-fiction authors Isabel Allende, Carlos Fuentes, Pat Conroy, Pico Iyer, and Ariel Dorfman contribute powerful and deeply personal accounts of mobile childhoods and the cultural experiences they engender. Unrooted Childhoods is the collective story of growing up and feeling displaced; it reveals the difficulties many children face when living in expatriate communities.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"I fold up my self and carry it round with me as if it were an overnight case," writes Pico Iyer in his refreshing and witty opening essay. Maria Arana's lively and moving excerpt closes the collection with, "I'm happy to be who I am." In between are 18 other essays by professional writers-mostly women, mostly of American nationality-framed by an introduction full of the lingo of alienation: "estranged," "disconnected," "longing, in each new home, to establish connection, yet fearful of becoming too attached." Precious few are "comfortable with their transient lives." Children of military men, diplomats, missionaries, businesspeople and other parents working abroad, they are linked not so much "by the recurrent motif of creating an identity while growing up global," as the editors assert, as by the large number of schools they attend in their childhoods. They experience house arrest, political coups, military occupation, refugee camps, father's violence and mother's schizophrenia. Their common association is Global Nomads International, an umbrella organization broad enough for one who grows up in Venezuela but regularly summers in upstate New York, one who moves 18 times in 18 years, and one who lives through the "1970 civil war in Jordan, the 1967 and 1973 wars with Israel, the 1982 invasion of Lebanon." One contributor recalls her five years in Holland as "the best home I ever had," and another recognizes that her "own case of the outsider syndrome played itself out," but this collection is weighted to the miseries of being, as Ruth Hill Useem, an expert in the study of expatriate communities, calls it, a Third Culture Kid. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
"I was trying to become more than an American, a citizen of the world, a disciple of life," states Camilla Trinchieri, one of this anthology's 20 authors who grew up away from their native countries. The children of diplomats, missionaries, or military officers, they often perceived themselves as members of the other culture, absorbing impressions strong enough to permeate a lifetime. As a result they developed separate identities and divided allegiances, conflicts evident in these writings. Experiences vary. Some, like Isabel Allende, fled a homeland for political survival. Others confess to family drama accompanying a nomadic childhood: Pat Conroy endured an abusive parent as well as a military lifestyle; Ruth Van Rekens's poignant letters to absent missionary parents reveal her distress when forced to leave Nigeria for boarding school. It's not all pain, however. Perfectly focused images appeal to the senses: Sara Taber describes light on the fields and flowers of Holland, while Nancy Henderson-James evokes the soothing, tactile smoothness of an infant. Memories are distilled, as if the authors knew that the beloved country would one day be recalled by memory alone. An interesting blend of works by well-known authors, teachers, and editors themselves, this anthology is recommended for public libraries.-Nedra Crowe-Evers, Sacramento P.L. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781857883381
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/23/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 332
  • Sales rank: 1,467,361
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Faith Eidse is an award-winning writer and author. The recipient of the Kingsbury Award and nominated for the Bellwether Prize, she grew up in Congo/Zaire, Canada, and the U.S. Nina Sichel was born in the U.S. and raised in Venezuela, is a writer, former editor and ESL teacher.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Living in the Transit Lounge 7
Sect. I Enrichment 19
Rain Light 25
A Minnesota Girl in the Holy Land 39
Snakes and Angels 53
Arabian Nights 65
Sect. II Estrangement 79
A String of Beads 85
Undiscovered Nation 105
Outside Looking In 117
Embers 133
Letters Never Sent 143
Diving In 161
Sect. III Rootlessness 177
Going Home 183
To See and See Again 199
Breath Roots 209
Memories of Unhousement 225
Sect. IV Identity 243
Displacements 249
Beyond Silence 263
A Bilingual Journey 277
How I Started to Write 285
American Chica 297
For Further Reading 307
For Further Exploration 311
Notes on Contributors 313
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2012

    Highly Recommended!

    The essays in this book are beautifully written with humor, pathos, and tenderness. This book is for anyone who grew up globally or cross-culturally, and the parents of those children. It's also for anyone who loves to travel. But really, it's for anyone who loves good writing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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