This Boy's Life: A Memoir

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Grove/Atlantic, Inc., Dec 1, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 304 pages
This unforgettable memoir, by one of our most gifted writers, introduces us to the young Toby Wolff, by turns tough and vulnerable, crafty and bumbling, and ultimately winning. Separated by divorce from his father and brother, Toby and his mother are constantly on the move, yet they develop an extraordinarily close, almost telepathic relationship. As Toby fights for identity and self-respect against the unrelenting hostility of a new stepfather, his experiences are at once poignant and comical, and Wolff does a masterful job of re-creating the frustrations and cruelties of adolescence. His various schemes - running away to Alaska, forging checks, and stealing cars - lead eventually to an act of outrageous self-invention that releases him into a new world of possibility.
 

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User Review  - nmele - LibraryThing

I found myself unable to stop reading Tobias Wolff's memoir of his childhood. That's largely because he is such a good writer, but it is also because I know the Pacific Northwest locales where he grew ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ProfH - LibraryThing

I'm surprised by the relatively low score this memoir has received. I found it very honest and funny. Maybe I could relate to Jack more than other readers, or at least sympathize more? Also possible ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Chapter 1
3
Chapter 2
8
Chapter 3
23
Chapter 4
29
Chapter 5
37
Chapter 6
48
Chapter 7
57
Chapter 8
65
Chapter 17
145
Chapter 18
155
Chapter 19
169
Chapter 20
181
Chapter 21
192
Chapter 22
200
Chapter 23
215
Chapter 24
222

Chapter 9
76
Chapter 10
87
Chapter 11
95
Chapter 12
107
Chapter 13
117
Chapter 14
126
Chapter 15
131
Chapter 16
137
Chapter 25
229
Chapter 26
237
Chapter 27
253
Chapter 28
266
Chapter 29
270
Chapter 30
277
Chapter 31
283
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Tobias Wolff was born in Birmingham, Alabama on June 19, 1945. He served in the military as a paratrooper during the Vietnam War. He received a B.A. in 1972 and a M.A. in 1975 from the University of Oxford and a M.A. in 1978 from Stanford University. He held faculty positions at Stanford University, Goddard College, Arizona State University, and Syracuse University. He was also a reporter for the Washington Post. His first collection of short stories, In the Garden of the North American Martyrs, won the St. Lawrence award for fiction in 1982. His other works include Back in the World, In Pharaoh's Army: Memories of a Lost War, The Night in Question, Old School, and Our Story Begins. The Barracks Thief won the PEN/Faulkner award for fiction in 1985. This Boy's Life: A Memoir won the Los Angeles Times Book prize in 1989 and was made into a 1993 film starring Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio. He also won three O. Henry Awards in 1980, 1981, and 1985 and the National Medal of Arts in 2015. He edited several anthologies of short stories including Matters of Life and Death: New American Stories, A Doctor's Visit: Short Stories by Anton Chekhov, and The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories.

Bibliographic information