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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

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  67 Ratings  ·  10 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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Rachel
Jan 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography-memoir
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
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Jessica
Jan 17, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Sep 28, 2007 rated it liked it
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
Mary
Dec 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Why has so little been said about Mary Cantwell and her writing? From her portrait of small town New England to her coming of age and then middle age in Manhattan and around the world, I was charmed.
Gardenojoy


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).
Abigail Johnson
Oct 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
well written but uninteresting , I don't think I would have finished it if I hadn't been stuck manning an unpopulated booth at a fair for several long days.
Molly
Sep 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
Anita Smith
Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
Beautiful writer, but depressing. Oh, and I agree with the other reviewers who called her narcissistic. And irritating. I felt bad for her daughters!
Jan
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Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read the first of the three volumes - a wonderful evocation of growing up in post-war America in a small(ish) New England town.
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May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-novels
First of all, although I have put this book on my American novels shelf, it is not a novel, it is a memoir as the title states. It is actually three books, brought together under one title. My favorite was the first one, recounting the author's childhood in Bristol, Rhode Island. I identified with her small town upbringing and closeness to family. The second book is an interesting examination of her career path.
My least favorite was the last one. It was still interesting reading, but by the ti
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