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December 20, 2020 at 2:06 am #25265Jessica MaiGuest
My New Orleans, Gone Away
by Peter M. Wolf
- Format: hardcover, 322 pages
- Publisher: Delphinium
- First published: January 1, 2013
- Language: english
- Release date: July 9, 2013
- ISBN: 9781883285562 (1883285569)
- Author: Peter M. Wolf
- Genres: memoir, biography, autobiography
About The Book
In this poignant and vivid memoir, Peter M. Wolf, a member of one of New Orleans’s oldest Jewish families, recreates the sights, sounds, tastes and simultaneously provides an insider’s look at this fabled city, so damaged and changing in the wake of Katrina. Reflecting the yearnings and anxieties of a generation that came of age after World War II, this is the iconic journey of a restless man who leaves the hometown he loves to discover the world and in so doing, to find himself.
Wolf recalls his idyllic though anxious southern childhood, the emotional remoteness of his nighttime-loving parents that leaves him with a tenuous sense of security. He turns to his neighborhood and school buddies, to the embracing warmth of his family’s African-American housekeeper, and to the weekends he spends with his adoring grandparents at their home in Pass Christian on the gulf coast of Mississippi.
During undergraduate years at Yale, the author’s close friends come to include Calvin Trillin, the humorist-to-be; Henry Geldzahler, the future celebrated art historian; and Gerald Jonas, who would become a writer for The New Yorker magazine. Each from a more traditional Jewish family, through exposure to these important people in his life, Wolf becomes acutely aware of his city’s inflexibly stratified religious and racial structure.
After a year of medical school at Columbia, and continuing his journey of self-discovery, as he briefly works for his father’s cotton brokerage, Wolf reveals the last vestiges of the cotton business in the south. In spite of a spicy love affair, his residence in the French Quarter, and growing prominence in his community, unwilling to remain in New Orleans, Wolf returns to the east to earn a doctorat and become an architectural historian, a profession in which he earns great distinction.
Written with humor and telling detail, My New Orleans offers direct and memorable insight into a lost period of America’s evolution, turbulence and possibilities as unique and to-be-longed-for as the city of Wolf’s memory.
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