My Sky Blue Trades: Growing Up Counter in a Contrary Time

Front Cover
Viking, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 279 pages
56 Reviews
In The Gutenburg Elegies, a widely acclaimed New York TimesNotable Book, Sven Birkerts won attention as a graceful and thoughtful essayist, an eloquent advocate of literature in an age of electronic media. Now he shows what only literature can do, in a moving, compelling, brilliantly written memoir that probes what it means to be an American with roots in a distant culture.

As a boy growing up in suburban Detroit, Birkerts always felt intensely uncomfortable with his family's ties to Latvia-the birthplace of all four of his grandparents. And yet his struggle to find his own path led inexorably back through the overgrown garden of family lore. Birkerts deftly weaves his own history (from struggles with his overbearing father to adventures at Woodstock, from lost loves to his emergence as a writer) with episodes from his ancestors' lives-scenes from Riga and Moscow during the Russian Revolution, tales of Paris and mistresses and family scandals. My Sky Blue Tradesis destined to be a classic exploration of the immigrant experience and the writer's inner life.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
18
4 stars
15
3 stars
18
2 stars
3
1 star
2

The illustrations are marvelous! - Goodreads
I bought it more for the illustrations and cover art. - Goodreads
Not much of a plot, though. - Goodreads

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - RandyMetcalfe - LibraryThing

Eventually, Sven Birkerts became a significant American commentator on poetry and fiction. But before that happened he had a lot of growing up to do. Maybe he still does, if this memoir is any ... Read full review

Review: The Mitford Snowmen

User Review  - Marjorie DeAngelis - Goodreads

Cute but not interesting enough for me. Too short to get to much 'meat' anyway. Read full review

All 2 reviews »

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
13
Section 3
41
Copyright

8 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2002)

Sven Birkerts is the author of The Gutenberg Elegies, Readings, American Energies, and other books. He teaches at Mount Holyoke College and at the Bennington Writing Seminar.

Bibliographic information