Dreaming: Hard Luck and Good Times in America

Dreaming: Hard Luck and Good Times in America

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In this bittersweet and beautifully written memoir, Carolyn See embarks on nothing less than a reevaluation of the American Dream. Although it features a clan in which dysfunction was something of a family tradition, Dreaming is no victim's story. With a wry humor and not a trace of self-pity, See writes of fights and breakups and hard times, but also of celebration and optimism in the face of adversity. The story of See's family speaks for the countless people who reached for the shining American vision, found it eluded their grasp, and then tried to make what they had glitter as best they could.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520204829
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 05/05/1996
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 372
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.83(d)

About the Author

Carolyn See is the author of five novels. She has a Ph.D in American literature from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she is an Adjunct Professor of English. Her awards include the Robert Kirsch Body of Work Award (1993) and a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction.

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Dreaming - Hard Luck and Good Times in America 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
TimBazzett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If my wife read this book, she would probably exclaim, "This is an AWful book!" And then tell me I have to read it. Because she wouldn't really mean it's "awful." She would mean that all this stuff that happens in Carolyn See's family memoir is pretty mind-bogglingly horrible - all that drinking and drugging and serial marriages and divorces and downright meanness that has gone on in See's family for 3-4 generations now. And I would have to agree. Because sometimes people really do treat those who should mean the most to the - the ones they should LOVE - in vile and unspeakable ways. I was reminded of another memoir I read not too long ago, about a childhood in England and Canada, called Once in a House on Fire, by Andrea Ashworth. I've known about Carolyn See, as an author, for forty years or more now, but I never dreamed she'd lived such an up-and-down kind of life, with an alcoholic, crazy (yeah, I think she really WAS!), abusive mother and a alcoholic father who left when See was a kid, and married a few more times, as did both of See's own husbands. I mean there was this awful pattern of familial quirkiness and general unhappiness throughout much of Carolyn See's life. And yet she somehow managed to rise above all of it (well, SOME of the time), and even got through grad school and became a rather respected writer - something her mother never acknowledged, and even continued to publicly embarrass See on occasion with an inherent nastiness and rudeness, usually fueled by intoxication. While the story that's told here really is pretty awful, the writing is excellent, and I began to see early in the narrative that it was undoubtedly Carolyn See's odd sense of humor that probably kept her sane and able to shake off some of the worst of the bad times she endured - humor and several years of therapy, that is. The book's been around for over fifteen years now, so I'm kinda curious what's happened to her since. Maybe she'll write another memoir. Or maybe I'll have to scrounge up one of her several novels, because she is a damn fine writer. If you want to read a good book about a mostly AWFUL family life, then try this one, DREAMING. You'll close this book and keep thinking about it for a while, thinking, "How AWful!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could find no value in reading this book. Maybe people actually do behave this way, by why on earth anyone would wish to share these experiences is beyond me./
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yup -love god &hearts
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