A Strong West Wind

A Strong West Wind

A Memoir

Book - 2006
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In this exquisitely rendered memoir set on the high plains of Texas, Pulitzer Prize winner Gail Caldwell transforms into art what it is like to come of age in a particular time and place. A Strong West Wind begins in the 1950s in the wilds of the Texas Panhandle--a place of both boredom and beauty, its flat horizons broken only by oil derricks, grain elevators, and church steeples. Its story belongs to a girl who grew up surrounded by dust storms and cattle ranches and summer lightning, who took refuge from the vastness of the land and the ever-present wind by retreating into books. What she found there, from renegade women to men who lit out for the territory, turned out to offer a blueprint for her own future. Caldwell would grow up to become a writer, but first she would have to fall in love with a man who was every mother's nightmare, live through the anguish and fire of the Vietnam years, and defy the father she adored, who had served as a master sergeant in the Second World War. A Strong West Wind is a memoir of culture and history--of fathers and daughters, of two world wars and the passionate rebellions of the sixties. But it is also about the mythology of place and the evolution of a sensibility: about how literature can shape and even anticipate a life. Caldwell possesses the extraordinary ability to illuminate the desires, stories, and lives of ordinary people. Written with humanity, urgency, and beautiful restraint, A Strong West Wind is a magical and unforgettable book, destined to become an American classic. From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2006.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781400062485
1400062489
Branch Call Number: 070.92 CALDWELL
Characteristics: xxii, 228 pages ; 25 cm.

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vv9
Mar 12, 2016

A great memoir about growing up in the tumultuous 60's in West Texas. The writing is beautiful, the stories are poignant and sentimental. Caldwell pays great tributes to many of her family members with descriptions of the times and memories of relationships.

Caldwell weaves together lives of generations with the common threads of war, politics and feminism. Relationships falter, and recover with the benefit of time and retrospection.

I love a book that sends me searching for other referenced authors...this memoir does. This is the second book that I've read by Caldwell, and I'm compelled to think that I'm not yet discouraged.

r
reedstevens
Mar 07, 2011

A detailed history of Gail Caldwell, her music, the intellectual books she read--and still remembers!!

Made me envious of those Austin hippies back in the day. Did she miss a single concert?

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