Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Professor and Other Writings-Terry Castle

The Professor and Other Writings
Terry Castle
Harper, Jan 19 2010, $25.95
ISBN: 9780061670909

“Courage, Mon Amie”. Ms. Castle discusses her quest to find the grave of her Great Uncle Lewis Newton Braddock, who died in combat on the continent during WWI.

“My Heroin Christmas”. Following a holiday at home, Ms. Castle muses about moms, step siblings, and heroine and other addictions, especially to the work of Art Pepper.

“Desperately Seeking Susan”. The author pays homage to her love-hate friendship with Susan Sontag.

“Home Alone”. There is no place like home at least that is the mantra of interior designer magazines that have become a favorite of Ms. Castle as she ponders what will happen to the contents of her interior designed abode when she passes on January 28, 2038 especially the bed linen.

"Travels with My Mother." Writing about complicated relationships, Ms. Castle describes hers with her mom as the oddest she has ever had while also trekking together through the inspirational work of artist Agnes Martin.

“The Professor”. As a graduate student, Ms. Castle had a short affair with a female professor that still resonates in her mind as perhaps one of her key moments as she began to understand others have needs, desires and feelings too.

This collection of autobiography commentaries and essays are intelligent, amusing often self-deprecating and entertaining as Terry Castle dives deeply into relationships that impacted her journey so far. All six entries are witty and well written as each rips asunder a piece of Ms. Castle’s soul for others to admire her courage for allowing us to see so deeply and emulate her open honesty. This is an enjoyable compilation except for me to witness the oracle stating January 28, 2038 means being a coherent octogenarian when many say I am an incoherent fiftyish.

Harriet Klausner

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