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Seeing Through Places

Reflections on Geography and Identity

Mary Gordon


List Price: 17.95*
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Mary Gordon, bestselling author of Spending and The Shadow Man, investigates the role that place plays in the formation of identity -- the connections between how we experience place and how we become ourselves. From her grandmother's house, which stood at the center of her childhood life, to a rented house on Cape Cod, where she began to mature as a writer, Mary Gordon navigates the reader through these spaces and worlds with subtlety and style. Wise, humorous, and intelligent, Seeing Through Places illuminates the relationship between the physical, emotional, and intellectual architectures of our lives, showing us the far-reaching power that places ultimately have in influencing a life.

Praise For Seeing Through Places: Reflections on Geography and Identity

Sheila Kohler
San Francisco Chronicle

Gordon evokes the lost objects of all our childhoods...[She] is capable of describing the complexity of the human heart with eloquence and intelligence.

Judith Thurman

Mary Gordon takes risks, personal and literary, that are necessary if one's work is to flourish, deepen, and become masterful, as hers has. Seeing Through Places is a marvelously suggestive, accurate, and moving mirror of a time, an ethos, and a landscape.

Susan Salter Reynolds
Los Angeles Times Book Review

When a memoir is well told, rich with detail, as this one is, the things and people in it remain truly unique in the writer's memory; neater explanations would be fiction.

Rosemary Dinnage
The New York Times Book Review

Re-evoking the places and objects that were once so much darker and more fearful is a fine work of restoration. Gordon remembers objects as meticulously as a still-life painter....[She] knits them all together in a satisfying pattern.

Colleen Kelly Warren
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Gordon writes with soul-searching honesty of the circumlocutional route
she has traveled to get home.

Scribner Book Company, 9780684862552, 256pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2001

About the Author

Mary Gordon is the author of Spending, The Company of Women, The Rest of Life, and The Shadow Man. Winner of the Lila Acheson Wallace Reader's Digest Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 1997 O. Henry Prize for best short story, she teaches at Barnard College and lives in New York City