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The Territory of Men: A Memoir
Born into the turmoil of mid-sixties San Francisco, the daughter of a flower child and a surfer, Joelle Fraser grew up with no bedtime, no boundaries, and no father. But “dads” she had in abundance, as her mother worked her way through boyfriends and husbands, caught between the traditional rules of her upbringing and the new freedoms of the “me generation” and women’s lib ...more
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Hard not to love this book as my personal friend wrote it and i'm actually mentioned in it! Fascinating and troubling that a woman as young as Joelle could already write a memoir but when your life has been as charged as hers has been, it is possible. She has lived more lifetimes in her short 40 years than most of us and reading about her ability to live and cope is interesting.
Aug 07, 2007 Stephan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: children of the 60s
I read this memoir of growing up the child of the sixties and alcoholism while taking a Greyhound going north from Mendocino County to Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Along the way, I could look out the window and see many of the locations in northern California and Oregon that Fraser wrote about. It was one of those magical readings, when the author's talents are so prodigious you simply cannot remove yourself from her world. This is a great, great book, deserving of a wide readership.
The main character grew up the daughter of a freeloading mother with no bedtime, rules, or father. Joelle grew up with various father figures and learned very quickly that her mother relied on men to survive. The story shows how this kind of life style affects a person later on in life.
Really fine writing...I related to a lot of her experiences. I agree with other reviewers--writing this good deserves more readers. I would love to hear her read and/or take a class from her, and her book has stayed with me--it made me think about the memoir I've been trying to write for way too long. I love that she put a note at the end saying it was the hardest thing she'd ever done; I certainly believe it. It takes a great deal of courage to put your truth out there, and kudos to her.
I really loved this book, but it's been so long since I've read it, I believe I'm due to re-read it to give a proper analysis on it! It's one of my favs and I usually recommend it! One of the first memoirs I've read and got me hooked on them!
I read this book in 2002 because the author is a good friend and was also my college roommate at UH, Manoa. I think the writing is excellent and I could see so clearly how Joelle put herself "out there" with a lot of humility. It was a courageous book to write and for that I admire her. There is so much truth and vulnerability that she exposed and I don't believe this is an easy thing for any author to undertake. She wrote about an interesting time, when children were raised by what I will call ...more
Picked this book up in Susanville, CA, which is in the middle-of-nowhere in norcal, because the bookseller said it was written by a local author. I lugged it around for 9 months and finally read it! Glad I waited - she mentions a number of other cities on the West Coast that I have memories at over the last 12 months, specifically San Fran and Sausalito, CA. Easy read and interesting life. I want to know how her professional/education success stemmed from the personal chaos that speckled her lif ...more
I always feel bad giving memoirs bad reviews because I'm sure it's hard to share such personal events in a book. I commend the author for doing so. But honestly, this book is awful. I don't mind memoirs jumping around to different time periods or events, but this one does so in a way that's so incoherent it's hard to understand. Nothing particularly interesting even happens in the book. I definitely think that some people with ordinary lives can pull off writing compelling memoirs, but this auth ...more
This book had some iffy points to me. The beginning started off appealing, but somewhere around the middle I felt like it got a bit "off" in the style. I had a hard time following things. By the end, however, it was back to the original style and seemed to finish strong. I enjoyed reading about Joelle's experiences, both positive and painful. It was very real, and very easy to imagine. Her life is unique, for sure. The insight she had about her experiences was admirable. Though she endured a lot ...more
I felt this book and enjoyed it. I know Joelle, and read it while we were in a book club together. In her early life she was a beach waif in SF, and I think I remember seeing and talking to her. I was a young adult hippie and she was a flower child's child.
I'm not sure what I was expecting but for me this book was only ok. While it was well written I just found it kind of boring. I hate saying that about a memoir because that is someone's life but it was drawn out and lacked excitement.