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Manhattan Memoir: American Girl; Manhattan, When I Was Young; Speaking with Strangers
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Manhattan Memoir: American Girl; Manhattan, When I Was Young; Speaking with Strangers

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  36 ratings  ·  6 reviews
The New York Times said that Mary Cantwell, in telling the story of her life, "Makes you discover yourself." Now, gathered in a single volume, are her three beautifully etched, unflinchingly honest memoirs. Cantwell's first book, American Girl, evoked the delights of her youth in a small New England town; her second, Manhattan, When I Was Young, told of her blossoming care...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by Penguin Books
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These are Mary Cantwell's three memoirs published in a single volume. American Girl is the story of her life in Bristol, Rhode Island, from birth to high school graduation, Manhattan, When I Was Young covers her life after college, her marriage and two children, and her career at Mademoiselle magazine, and Speaking with Strangers is what happens after her husband leaves her.

I didn't dislike the book, so much as I disliked Mary Cantwell. The book is interesting in places, mostly in the middle vo...more
Cantwell's trilogy of memoirs: "American Girl" is about her childhood in Rhode Island, and it pinballs from touching reminiscence to mawkish sentimentality; "Manhattan When I Was Young" is about her early married life in NYC, which I read -- and loved -- four years ago, but now I found prudish and tedious; "Speaking With Strangers" focuses on her career after her divorce, and is by far the best and boldest of the three stories, in content and in style.
Ruth Jalfon
Since we're in Manhattan for a few days, I thought it app ropriate to read something about the area. I found this book on a second hand book stall in the street while waiting for Marc to finish playing with his new hand-held computer toy. Drove a bargain and got it for a dollar. I then read it in one afternoon in Central Park overlooking the lake there while Marc and Joelle went off on a long walk. It was interesting to read about places we'd just been and hard to imagine that this city used to...more
Anita Smith
Beautiful writer, but depressing. Oh, and I agree with the other reviewers who called her narcissistic. And irritating. I felt bad for her daughters!

Just wanted to share a quote from the main character in the book: " When friends or family die, I leave a space for them then and not until that space closes of itself can I move on. If I try to rush the process with crowds and busyness.... I will tumble in the (crevice).
beautifully spare prose. if I wrote a memoir I wish it could be like this. I loved the fact that it spanned worlds I knew -- rhode island, NYC.
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