Book review and technical detail SPACE ~ Jesse Lee Kercheval
|Technical detail of SPACE ~|
|author||Jesse Lee Kercheval|
|Category||Science & Technology|
|Publishing Date||1st January, 1970|
A acquiescently honest account of a babe growing up amidst the blaze of the rocket launches from Cape Canaveral, Fla. Kercheval's father, a West Point alum who larboard the army rather than serve in Vietnam, confused his ancestors from Washington, D.C., to Cocoa, Fla., back the columnist was 10 years old. This was the ambience of her adventuresome mother's ultimate collapse from too abundant Valium and bourbon and of biographer Kercheval's (The Museum of Happiness, 1993) allure with the adjacent amplitude center's aboriginal sorties to the moon. Her memories themselves were launched by a shoeboxful of ancestors snapshots beatific by her sister Carol, two years her chief and the one who, throughout their childhood, kept the affected blaze of ancestors burning. It's Carol who demands, typically, ``that we . . . put up a Christmas tree, [and] eat in the dining allowance at Thanksgiving,'' and who actively reminds her sister on added occasions that ``we don't do things like that.'' ``Things like that'' ambit from not cutting shoes back they go out to comedy to drugs and booze (at 16). Jesse meanwhile avalanche out of a treehouse, has to do time in a body-brace and a wheelchair, and confronts racism and menstruation. Also on her calendar of challenges are sex, drugs, death, the acceptation of life, and best of all, the chase to the moon. Eventually, ``one by one,'' the accomplished ancestors gets dispersed--Carol to teach, the flower-child columnist to wed, and her ancestor to seek a divorce, abrogation her drugged-out mother behind. Rising to the occasion, though, the mother drops her Valium and booze to remarry the author's father--just as Kercheval herself is accepting a annulment and starting a new life. A accustomed coming-of-age story, but alternate by the affair and barrage of rockets entering space. (Author tour)
A memoir in the tradition of Frank Conroy's STOP TIME and Tobias Wolff's THIS BOY'S LIFE, SPACE is about growing up when America was on the brink of the big changes coming by way of Apollo 11, THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE, and the Vietnam War. "Never has the space program been so charmingly brought down to earth than by this utterly beguiling girl . . . I was fascinated, enchanted, edified, and moved."--Gish Jen, author of TYPICAL AMERICAN; "The beauty of SPACE is that Kercheval engages all the senses with layered detail."--Swing; "An incandescent girlhood memoir . . . so lyrical and poignant are the events it chronicles, it is hard to believe that it wasn't all by design."--Booklist, starred.
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