Her search resurrected childhood memories of revolution, civil war,
famine and exile, which she felt impelled to share, “to speak for so
many others who have silently endured the loss of all they valued.”
In her book the reader will meet the extended family who faced many
trials in those chaotic years, and will be moved by their steadfast
togetherness through want and woe. The reader will share the love and
courage that sustained them and helped them survive hunger and despair,
the humor that cheered dreary days and the strength that carried them
through affliction and calamity. Readers will cry over their sorrows and
enjoy their small triumphs, and they will live again in memory.
Nora Lourie Percival was born just after World War I in Samara on the Volga River in Russia. The revolution drove her father out of the country to safety, and her family lived through a civil war and a famine. These tribulations were recorded in Weather of the Heart, her first memoir. In 1922, the family was reunited in New York, where Nora grew up. The author’s career has been largely in the editorial field. She has worked for Random House, the American Management Association, and Barnard College. Now long retired, she is still writing and working as a freelance editor. An only child, she has raised five children and now has eleven grandchildren. She lives in the mountains of North Carolina, where she enjoys the natural beauty and is inspired by the literary renaissance in the South.
At once a coming-of-age story, an intellectual autobiography, and vivid cultural history, Why Not Say What Happened is an eloquent, gripping account of an intellectual and emotional education from one of our leading critics. In this "acutely observed, slyly funny memoir" (Molly Haskell), Morris Dickstein evokes his boisterous and close-knit Jewish family, his years as a yeshiva student that eventually led to fierce rebellion, his teenage adventures in the Catskills and in a Zionist summer camp, and the later education that thrust him into a life-changing world of ideas and far-reaching literary traditions. Dickstein brilliantly depicts the tension between the parochial religious world of his youth and the siren call of a larger cosmopolitan culture, a rebellion that manifested itself in a yarmulka replaced by Yankees cap, a Shakespeare play concealed behind a heavy tractate of the Talmud, and classes cut on Wednesday afternoons to take in the Broadway theater.
Tracing a path from the Lower East Side to Columbia University, Yale, and Cambridge, Dickstein leaves home, travels widely, and falls in love, breaking through to new experiences of intimacy and sexual awakening, only to be brought low by emotional conflicts that beset him as a graduate student—homesickness, a sense of cultural dislocation—issues that come to a head during a troubled year abroad. In Why Not Say What Happened we see Dickstein come into his own as a teacher and writer deeply engaged with poetry: the "daringly modern" Blake, the bittersweet "negotiations of time and loss" in Wordsworth, and the "shifting turns of consciousness itself" in Keats. While eloquently evoking the tumult of the sixties and a culture in flux, Why Not Say What Happened is enlivened by Dickstein's "Zelig-like presence at nearly every significant aesthetic and political turning of the second half of the American twentieth century" (Cynthia Ozick). Dickstein crafts memorable portraits of his own mentors and legendary teachers like Lionel Trilling, Peter Gay, F. R. Leavis, and Harold Bloom, who become inimitable role models. They provide him with a world-class understanding of how to read and nourish his burgeoning feeling for literature and history. In the tradition of classic memoirs by Alfred Kazin and Irving Howe, this frank and revealing story, at once keenly personal and broadly cultural, sheds light on the many different forms education can take.
The author's challenging job, in a large defense plant producing
vital war materiel, broke new ground. In planning this book, Percival
turned to her daily reports, still in her files. "Rereading them after
more than 65 years," the narrator writes, "those hectic, pressured days
that demanded all my stamina, ingenuity, empathy and endurance rose up
in my memory."
Woven into her chapters, these reports provide a vivid portrait of
the trials and triumphs of women's private battles. It was her concern
for the unhappily divided state of our present world that impelled
Percival to write of a time when Americans were united, all working
together to save our country from Hitler's despotic assault.
Spanning the bucolic Beltway suburbs of his childhood and the clandestine CIA and NSA postings of his adulthood, Permanent Record is the extraordinary account of a bright young man who grew up online—a man who became a spy, a whistleblower, and, in exile, the Internet’s conscience. Written with wit, grace, passion, and an unflinching candor, Permanent Record is a crucial memoir of our digital age and destined to be a classic.
Silver Pages on the Lawn is the true story of student lovers
and their star-crossed romance that endures parental disapproval as
well as the want of time, money, and privacy. To bridge long
separations, they make love by words alone. Their passionate, eloquent
letters, poignant and poetic, are the heart of this memoir and bring to
life the troubled era in which their story takes place—the lean days of
the Great Depression, war clouds over Europe, and the literary
renaissance of which these aspiring writers were part, form the heart of
Silver Pages on the Lawn paints a dramatic picture of the
difficult years they lived through and of the steadfast love that
survived it all and carried them through to the life they dreamed of.