What I Think I Did
A Season Of Survival In Two ActsBook - 2000
In 1969 Larry Woiwode published his first novel, What I'm Going to Do, I Think, and he followed that triumphant debut with a string of stunning novels. He now turns his enormous talent to memoir in What I Think I Did, the first installment in a planned autobiographical trilogy.On the surface What I Think I Did is two appearances at once: it is a story of surviving the severest recorded winter in North Dakota's history (1996), and it is an account of Woiwode's hungry years as an actor and writer leading up to the publication of his first novel. As with all of Woiwode's writing, however, there are wells and eddies and surfaces along the way, bubbles out of the past caught whole and alive, that make reading him pure joy. Act One, Snow with Tints of Then, revolves around the purchase, installation, and feeding of a giant wood-burning furnace to heat the buildings on the Woiwodes' farm during the record snow and cold of the winter months. Feeding the furnace and keeping it running become a life-or-death obsession for Woiwode, and this struggle in turn becomes both a central metaphor for exploring the sources of his craft as a writer and a means of joining the disparate threads of his boyhood and family life. Act Two, Then with Tints of Snow, recounts, in a more chronological fashion, his university and early New York days, the beginning of his writing career, his friendship with the young Robert DeNiro, and the pivotal mentoring role played by William Maxwell of The New Yorker.What I Think I Did is replete with moments of startling beauty, sly humor, and heartbreaking tenderness. More than almost any other writer Larry Woiwode has the capacity to astound with his words, and in this memoir he is at the top of his form.
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, c2000.
Edition: 1st ed.
Characteristics: viii, 313 p. ;,22 cm.
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