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Paperback Assembling My Father: A Daughter's Detective Story Book

ISBN: 0618619321

ISBN13: 9780618619320

Assembling My Father: A Daughter's Detective Story

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

Anna Cypra Oliver's strikingly original book offers both a moving story of self-discovery and a vivid record of a turbulent era. In the late 1960s, Anna's father--a charismatic man from a cultivated Jewish background--and her equally urbane mother joined a countercultural enclave in Taos, New Mexico. There, amid the chaos of hippie life, their marriage foundered. Shortly after their breakup, Anna's father comitted suicide. Anna was five years old...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Unique and totally engaging

This book is fascinating--it says it's a detective story, and it is, but with a twist--it's a detective story about people, and why they do what they do. It's a mystery where the writer tries to unravel how choices and fate and relationships and everything else all twist together to make and change lives, sometimes in sad ways. To me, it is the most interesting sort of mystery ever. Which is why reading this book was such a total delight. It's like spending time with a really intelligent, engaging person dissecting events and following shreds of evidence, and there's this sense of loss when it's all over--you kind of want to stay engaged. A most excellent read!!

Provides a moving personal history which will also inspire any conducting their own family history s

In the late 1960s the author's father and mother joined a countercultural enclave in New Mexico, where their marriage floundered and Anna's father committed suicide. Anna was five years old at the time. Twenty years later the discovery of some old photos sends her on a journey to learn more about her father: her reconstruction of her past is charted in ASSEMBLING MY FATHER: A MEMOIR and provides a moving personal history which will also inspire any conducting their own family history search. Diane C. Donovan California Bookwatch


I often randomly choose books to read, without reading reviews or recommendations. Sometimes that method backfires and I'm stuck with a stinker, but not in this case - I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. Perhaps it was the writing, perhaps it was the loss of my own father when I was very young (probably a combination of both) - this book touched me in a personal way that no other book has for some time.

An excellent memoir and first book

Prior to reading "Assembling My Father" I was lucky enough to attend a writer's workshop with Anna Oliver in Boise, Idaho, and I must say she is an incredible woman. She is not only intelligent and insightful, but also extremely well read- all of which show up in her writing. In "Assembling My Father," she experiments with style and form, including extensive primary records such as pictures, news articles and writings from her father's journal which add to the overall theme of a "detective story." The inclusion of Anna's own tale of personal growth alongside her discoveries of her father's untimely demise create a depth of emotion and a unique poignancy. This is a must-read for anyone interested in writing memoir, especially family history, or for anyone who is interested in the counterculture of the 60's and 70's. I cannot reccommend it enough.

Highly recommended

This is a very good read. It is indeed a "detective story." Even though you know the ending at the very start of the book, the suspense builds as the author leads you through the process of discovering who her father really was and why he killed himself. Her interviews with "witnesses" and collection of "evidence" are woven together in a very creative construction that is extremely well-written. It is a personal story with universal appeal.
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