Twelve Years: An American Boyhood in East Germany
Joel Agee, the son of James Agee, was raised for twelve years in East Germany, where his stepfather, the novelist Bodo Uhse, was a member of the privileged communist intelligentsia. This is the story of how young Joel failed to become a good communist, becoming instead a fine writer.
"A wonderfully evocative memoir. . . . Agee evoked for me the atmosphere of postwar Berlin more vividly than the actual experience of it—and I was there." —Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times
"One of those rare personal memoirs that brings to life a whole country and an epoch." —Christopher Isherwood
"Twelve Years consists of a series of finely honed anecdotes written in a precise, supple prose rich with sensual detail." —David Ghitelman, Newsday
"By turns poetic and picturesque, Agee energetically catalogues his expatriate passage to manhood with a pinpoint eye and a healthy American distaste for pretension. . . . Huckleberry Finn would have . . . welcomed [him] as a soulmate on the raft." —J. D. Reed, Time
"A triumph. . . . Unfettered by petty analysis or quick explanations, a story that is timeless and ageless and vital." —Robert Michael Green, Baltimore Sun
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