Friday, October 21, 2011

A.E. Hotchner's 5 favorite coming-of-age tales

A.E. Hotchner is best known for Papa Hemingway, his 1966 biography of Ernest Hemingway, whose work he had adapted for plays and television. His other books include King of the Hill, a memoir about growing up in St. Louis during the Great Depression. It was made into a film in 1993, the screenplay written and directed by Steven Soderbergh.

In 2007 Hotchner named a five best list of coming-of-age tales for the Wall Street Journal.

One book on the list:
by Frank Conroy

"My father stopped living with us when I was three or four. Most of his adult life was spent as a patient in various expensive rest homes for dipsomaniacs and victims of nervous collapse. He was neither ... " So begins "Stop-Time," Frank Conroy's memoir of the world of half-mad, lonely characters whom he confronted during his adolescence. It is a story of growing up during a time of anxiety, broken families, sexual anarchy and pervasive discontent. There is no self-pity, but Conroy's remarkable perceptions lay bare the feelings of this distinctive boy, who nimbly side-steps despair to reach a seemingly impossible destination on the next-to-last page: "I was rich and I was free."
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue