Attic : A Memoir

4.11 (9 ratings by Goodreads)
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In The Attic, his sequel to the classic We Have All Gone Away, Curtis Harnack returns to his rural Iowa homeplace to sift through an attic full of the trash and treasures left behind by the thirteen children in two generations who grew up in the big farmhouse. The adult Harnack had been making pilgrimages to his past from various parts of the country for thirty-plus years; now the death of an uncle and the disposal of an estate bring him home once more. The resonant diaries, church bulletins, photos, newspaper clippings, and other memorabilia in the attic allow him to rediscover both personal and universal truths as he explores the enduring legacies of home, family, and community. Finally, discovering a cache of letters written home while he was in the Navy in the mid 1940s, he confronts a stranger--his younger self. Harnack's 'dream-pod journey ...from who I am now to how it once was for me' tells the life story of a close-knit family and extends this story to our own journeys through our own memory-filled more

Product details

  • Paperback | 200 pages
  • 139.7 x 213.36 x 15.24mm | 249.47g
  • University of Iowa Press
  • Iowa, United States
  • English
  • 37 b&w photos, 1 chart
  • 1587295466
  • 9781587295461

Review quote

I must call attention to this moving, brilliant memoir. . . . Every chapter contains scenes which demonstrate the strangeness of daily experiences, the oddity of ordinary life. . . . [Harnack] is a ghost confronting other ghostly presences. Thus his memoir becomes a haunted document aren t all documents haunted? and this very fact attacks our longing to know our beginnings, our desire to search our mental attics. Irving Malin, "Contemporary Literature""show more

Back cover copy

With The Attic he returns to the past and rediscovers more personal and universal truths as he explores the enduring legacies of home, family, and more

About Curtis Harnack

Curtis Harnack grew up on a farm in Plymouth County in northwest Iowa. Professor of literature at Sarah Lawrence College from 1960 to 1971, executive director of Yaddo from 1971 to 1987, and president of the School of American Ballet from 1992 to 1997, he currently lives in New York City and still owns part of the family farm. In addition to "The Attic: A Memoir," "Gentlemen on the Prairie, We Have All Gone Away," he is the author of, among others, "Persian Lions, Persian Lambs"; "Limits of the Land"; "Love and Be Silent"; and "The Work of an Ancient Hand.""show more

Rating details

9 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 44% (4)
4 33% (3)
3 11% (1)
2 11% (1)
1 0% (0)
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