Download Almost a Family: A Memoir by John Darnton PDF

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By John Darnton

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and best-selling writer: a superbly crafted memoir of his lifelong chase after his father’s shadow.

John used to be 11 months previous while his father, Barney Darnton—a struggle correspondent for The ny Times—was killed in international struggle II, yet his absence left a extra profound imprint at the relations than any dwelling father can have. John’s mom, a well known Times reporter and editor, attempted to maintain alive the dream of elevating her sons in perfect atmosphere. whilst that proved very unlikely, she collapsed emotionally and bodily. yet alongside the way in which she created one of these robust delusion of the father-hero who gave his lifestyles for his kinfolk, kingdom, and the fourth property that John his footsteps into an analogous newsroom.

Decades after his father’s dying, John and his brother, the historian Robert Darnton, started digging into the prior to discover the reality approximately their mom and dad. to find who the real-life Barney Darnton was—and partly who he himself is—John delves into turn-of-the-century farm existence in Michigan, the anything-goes Jazz Age in Greenwich Village, the lives of hard-drinking battle correspondents within the Pacific theater, and the worried loneliness of the McCarthy years in Washington, D.C. He ends his quest on a seashore in Papua New Guinea, the place he learns approximately his father’s final moments from an elderly villager who by no means forgot what he observed sixty-five years past.

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We played tourist and partied on and off Bourbon Street. In a rundown gift shop we stumbled into, we discovered a back room full of cheap blouses and hippie skirts. I bought this batik tie-dye wrap skirt for ten dollars. The first time I wore the skirt was a few weeks later. I was in New York for the Republican National Convention protests, documenting a march I had helped organize. In my downtime I was exploring the city, and at dusk I wound up walking alone through Central Park. There I encountered a group of pagans at the edge of the park.

And it did: $2,200. But the original price was crossed out! It was now $400. I calculated what the expense would mean to my budget. Undeterred, I tried the coat on. It was at least one size too big. None of this mattered to me. I felt glamorous and beautiful. As the clerk wrapped up the coat in the biggest orange box I had ever seen, I knew this wasn’t a mistake. I would wear this coat forever. And wear it I did! I wore it every day from September until March. I wore it to work, I wore it every weekend, I wore it on vacation in Vermont, and I wore it traveling to the West Coast.

It was so cold I didn’t want to take my gloves off to take the gum out of my mouth.

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