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childhood

To Be a Kid Again: Your Favorite Childhood Stories Get a Reboot

in Fiction by

No matter our age, we can all remember those childhood books that touched and moved us. These are the stories we return to again and again, reveling in the tales that helped inform us as we grew. Personally, I remember devouring The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and rereading Anne of Green Gables so many times that my paperback fell apart. Even as an adult, I would do anything to get more of those books, or any continuations of my favorite childhood stories. If I found out that there was a long-lost sequel to The Secret Garden, for example, I’m pretty sure I would squeal out loud (who cares if I’m in my 30s?). So when I realized that…

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Steven Gaines is Insightful and Hilarious in ‘One of These Things First’

in Nonfiction by

In the memoir One of These Things First, Steven Gaines, a gay 15-year-old boy from a conservative Jewish family in the 1960s, humorously shares a bizarre account of his teenage years in Brooklyn and a stint at Payne Whitney, a private mental institution in NYC. Steven recalls a multitude of childhood memories, some disturbing, many sexually charged (think Augusten Burroughs and Running With Scissors). Gaines’ memories include his fantasies about the lawnmower guy, agonizing time spent in his grandfather’s bra and girdle store where he spies on shoppers while hidden from view, befriending an aspiring actress at the empty theater in town, dealings with a claustrophobic cooped up in a small apartment with his parents, and the mean boys in the neighborhood who…

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Review: John Irving’s ‘Avenue of Mysteries’ Revisits the Seductive Highways of Childhood

in Fiction by

Here’s an interesting fact about John Irving whose new novel, Avenue of Mysteries (Simon & Schuster; November 2, 2015) uses the present as a vehicle for visiting the past: he begins every novel by writing the last sentence first. If your curiosity gets the better of you, then go ahead and read Avenue’s final words first. It only will entice you to flip back to the novel’s opening pages where you’ll begin a journey through the fantastical moments in Juan Diego Guerrero’s life. Like the protagonists in other Irving novels, Juan Diego is quirky and unique. Much of the story of Juan Diego’s childhood takes place in the early 1970s when he’s a teen. He and his younger sister Lupe…

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