Ruth Jalfon's Reviews > Manhattan Memoir: American Girl; Manhattan, When I Was Young; Speaking with Strangers

Manhattan Memoir by Mary Cantwell
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's review
Oct 08, 2007

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Read in September, 2007

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 be quiet in the fifties! Her life as a writer in fashion magazines isn't so remarkable but the way she fell into marraige and her job and the way she picked up the helpless woman image that was expected even of educated college graduates is interestng. She claims that she wouldn't have got anywhere without her husband's prodding but at the same time she did have some spirit of her own so it's hard to always believe. A good read for the afternoon but its inherent narcisism was sometimes irritating and you just wanted to kick her in the behind.

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message 1: by K (new)

K Your last sentence probably describes most of the memoirs I've read! I think the very act of writing a memoir is inherently narcissistic; it's rare to find memoirs that rise above the narcissism to offer the reader something meaningful to them, not just the author.

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