In Fond Remembrance of Me: A Memoir of Myth and Uncommon Friendship in the Arctic

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Jan 24, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 176 pages
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Howard Norman spent the fall of 1977 in Churchill, Manitoba, translating into English two dozen "Noah stories" told to him by an Inuit elder. The folktales reveal what happened when the biblical Noah sailed his Ark into Hudson Bay in search of woolly mammoths and lost his way. By turns startling, tragic, and comical, these inimitable narratives tell the history of the Arctic and capture the collision of cultures precipitated by the arrival of a hapless stranger in a strange land.

Norman himself was then a stranger in a strange land, but he was not alone. In Churchill he encountered Helen Tanizaki, an Anglo-Japanese woman embarked on a similar project--to translate the tales into Japanese. An extraordinary linguist and an exact and compelling friend, Tanizaki became Norman's guide through the characters, stories, and customs he was coming to know, and a remarkable intimacy sprang up between them--all the more intense because it was to be fleeting; Tanizaki was fatally ill.

Through a series of overlapping panels of reality and memory, Howard Norman's In Fond Remembrance of Me recaptures with vivid immediacy a brief but life-shifting encounter and the earthy, robust stories that occasioned it.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - laytonwoman3rd - LibraryThing

This is a tidy little memoir that covers only a couple months of the author's life. In 1977, Howard Norman went to Churchill, Manitoba, to record and translate Inuit folk tales told by an elder, Mark ... Read full review

IN FOND REMEMBRANCE OF ME: A Memoir of Myth and Uncommon Friendship in the Arctic

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A sometimes sad but seductive collage of memories of two months spent with a Japanese woman and an Inuit elder in Canada's far north.In the late summer of 1977, Norman (The Bird Artist, 1994, etc ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Title Page
WOMAN TYPING ARCTIC
ODDLY ENOUGH
DRIFTWOOD
THE STUFF OF NOAHS CHARACTER
LAST CONVERSATION WITH MARK 1977
PRAYERS
TREATISE ON CHOKING
THE MAN WHO HELD TWO KNIVES
REINCARNATION
WRITE ME A LETTER
THE SEA AND CLIFFS
THE KIMONO

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About the author (2006)

Howard Norman is the author of several novels, including The Haunting of L., The Bird Artist, and Northern Lights. He lives with his family in Vermont and Washington, D.C.

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