Download American Identities: Contemporary Multicultural Voices by Robert Pack, Jay Parini PDF

By Robert Pack, Jay Parini

ISBN-10: 0585333076

ISBN-13: 9780585333076

Greater than 3 dozen voices supply various expressions of the dynamic interplay among lifestyle and the yankee cognizance, and plenty of solutions to the query of the way to "construct a 'self' from the fabrics of existence in our contentious and sometimes incoherent culture."

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Extra info for American Identities: Contemporary Multicultural Voices (Bread Loaf Anthology)

Sample text

We drove through the deserted North Side to Ashkenaz's delicatessen on Morse, beneath the elevated tracks. Nothing had changed; there was the same middle-aged cashier, her streaked blonde hair swept up in a hive, crescents of blue mascara beneath her eyes, a cigarette in the ashtray beside the rubber-bristled change pad. Behind the counter were bins crammed with sides of corned beef and slabs of tongue in white-enameled trays. It was the middle of the afternoon, and the restaurant was empty. My parents looked tired.

I proposed. " Mr. Sensenig blinked in annoyance, like an owl disturbed in daylight. When I reported the episode over dinner that night, my father was proud. I tried to keep up; I played the flute until it became evident that de- Page 20 spite the private lessons, despite practicing two hours a day, I had no promise. For my fourteenth birthday, I was given a set of expensive oil paints, fine brushes, an easel, and enough canvas for Guernica. I set up shop down in the basement, and within a week had completed my first work, a gaudy web of blotted shapes, the paint squeezed on so thick it refused to dryand in the center, a white square.

With a mother like that, it's a miracle I'm not in some institution somewhere, drooling in a padded cell," my father used to say. Newly married, he couldn't persuade his wife to come upstairs when he visited on Sundays; she sat in the car and smoked. When he tried to leave, my grandmother would throw herself down in front of the door and lie there weeping. My father had to nudge her with his foot to get by. Still, he was a dutiful son. After my grandfather died, we drove to Rogers Park every Sunday and had dinner in his mother's apartment.

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