Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez (Hardback)
  • Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez (Hardback)
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Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez (Hardback)

(author), (foreword)
£17.99
Hardback Published: 18/08/2022
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The 40th anniversary edition of an American classic: a “minority student” pays the cost of social assimilation and academic success with a painful alienation—from his past, his parents, his culture. Exquisitely written, poignant and powerful, unsettling and controversial, this both a profound study of the importance of language and a moving, intimate portrait of a boy struggling to become a man.

Forty years ago, readers met the extraordinary writer Richard Rodriguez through the story of his own education. He would go on to win a loyal readership with Days of Obligation: An Argument with My Mexican Father (a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize), Brown: The Last Discovery of America, and Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography. But first came Hunger of Memory, originally published by Godine in 1982.

Hunger of Memory is the story of a young Mexican-American, who began school in Sacramento, California knowing just fifty words of English, yet concluded his university studies in the reading room of the British Museum. In between, he fought a dramatic struggle between his public and private self.

A longtime resident of San Francisco, and an ardent opponent of easy labels and limited self-conceptions, Rodriguez describes himself as a “queer Catholic Indian Spaniard at home in a temperate Chinese city in a fading blond state in a post-Protestant nation.” Resisting the easy way of following received dogmatic and conventional thought, Rodriguez has also encountered hostility for his provocative positions on issues such as affirmative action and bilingual education. But the extraordinary clarity of his iconoclastic writing—the surprising twists in his thinking, the view of public policy as it limits individual lives, and the story he tells of an American education—have made this book endure for forty years and counting.

This edition includes a new afterword by the author as well as an introduction by Phillip Lopate. Whether you’re hearing about Richard Rodriguez for the first time, or have read him for years, whether his life is like your own or far from it, if you care about the power of language and original thinking, you owe yourself to read Hunger of Memory.

Publisher: David R. Godine Publisher Inc
ISBN: 9781567927214
Dimensions: 228 x 152 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Praise for Richard Rodriguez and Hunger of Memory “For over thirty years now, Richard Rodriguez has maintained a fierce, rigorous, ironic, and sincere cross-examination of both contemporary America and himself....[His] refusal to settle for easy answers or fixed assumptions is exactly what makes Rodriguez so essential.”—Pico Iyer, New York Review of Books “Rodriguez is an interesting, unpredictable thinker and writer; the opportunity to enter his mind should be reason enough to read one of his books.”—Washington Post “Arresting...Splendidly written...Hunger of Memory reveals the fathomless capacity of language to reshape experience. The author is profoundly honest, hauntingly so...A deeply humanistic voice.””—Boston Globe “Superb...In Hunger of Memory, Mr. Rodriguez offers himself as an example of the long labor of change: its costs, about which he is movingly frank, its loneliness, but also its triumph.”—New York Times Book Review “Paradox has always been at the heart of Rodriguez’s brilliant personal essays, whether he was pondering, in Hunger of Memory (1982), the conflict between public and private selves; or defining, in Days of Obligation (1992), the split in his multicultural soul between his American faith in the future and his Mexican sense of the tragic past; or dissecting, in Brown (2002), the incendiary topic of race in America....They all reflect his remarkable ability to penetrate the contradictions of our lives, reveling in them as much as understanding them.”—Booklist “The exquisite clarity of Mr. Rodriguez’s writing is the product of long care, an attention to nuance that, one senses, is not only esthetic but moral.”—The New York Times “Richard Rodriguez may be the most empathic essayist in America….His sentences are reliable joys.”—The New Yorker

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