Mosaic: A Family Memoir Revisited by Michael Holroyd PDF

By Michael Holroyd

ISBN-10: 0393344304

ISBN-13: 9780393344301

After writing the definitive biographies of Lytton Strachey and George Bernard Shaw, Michael Holroyd grew to become his hand to a extra own topic: his circle of relatives. the end result used to be Basil highway Blues, released in 1999. yet instead of the tale being over, it used to be in truth simply starting. As letters from readers began to pour in, the writer came upon awesome narratives that his personal memoir had in basic terms touched on.

Mosaic is Holroyd's piecing jointly of those extraordinary tales: the homicide of the fearsome headmaster of his university; the invention that his Swedish grandmother used to be the mistress of the French anarchist Jacques Prévert; and a letter concerning the fantastic thing about his mom that gives a clue to a decade-long affair.

Funny, touching, and wry, Mosaic indicates how different people's lives, even if eccentric or severe, echo our personal desires and stories.

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Example text

When I did it that way, the peas tasted just like nuts. I remember summer mornings, playing in the backyard and watching Mama work in her flower garden, especially after she gave up on the exotic plants she had known in California and decided to go native. She gathered all sorts of dried seeds and even roots from the desert, planted them with loving care in the sandy, rocky soil, and gloried in their endurance. "So tough and so lovely," she would say. "Just look at this purple verbena, and the blue of that wild aster.

We camped the first night at Indio, and the next morning we skirted south around the Salton Sea. At noon, the temperature well over a hundred degrees, we arrived in Brawley where Papa went into a tiny building marked "Chamber of Commerce" and got the bad news about the road across the desert to Yuma. Just east of Brawley, they told him, the pavement ended and the road was a single width of railroad ties, but we could make it all right if we observed the courtesy of the road. Papa liked that phrase and kept repeating it as he pointed to the little diagram the men had given him showing how oncoming cars could pass each other, each car keeping center wheels on the ties and letting outside wheels go in Page 14 the sand.

She gathered all sorts of dried seeds and even roots from the desert, planted them with loving care in the sandy, rocky soil, and gloried in their endurance. "So tough and so lovely," she would say. "Just look at this purple verbena, and the blue of that wild aster. " And I remember Mama bending over the creosote bushes by the back fence after a quick shower, sniffing audibly in appreciation of the fresh, clean aroma, as she admired the tiny golden blooms or woolly little seeds. Nothing grows under creosote, and more than one neighbor had urged Mama to get rid of the bushes.

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Mosaic: A Family Memoir Revisited by Michael Holroyd


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