The Lost Landscape: A Writer’s Coming of Age by Joyce Carol Oates is whipped cream topping on top of a stellar writing career. This woman is a prolific genius – her writing is sublime. There’s no other term for it. This memoir of her childhood and adolescence “evokes the romance of childhood and the way it colors everything after.” (cover blurb). This is an “arresting account of the ways in which Oates’s life (and her life as a writer) was shaped by early childhood and influenced by her hardscrabble rural upbringing.”
She’s candid and reflective. She looked at life as a series of endless adventures and was perceptive in meeting people and interpreting life scenes. “With searing detail and an acutely perceptive eye, Oates renders her memories and emotions with exquisite precision to truly transport the reader to a bygone place and time, to the lost landscape of the writer’s past but also to the lost landscapes of our own earliest, and most essential lives. “ (cover blurb)
I dog eared page after page. She touched me in so many ways from her life as a student and later as a newlywed, happy in Detroit. Her joy with life, her humbleness, and her open heart shines through each page. This book is an important work, in bring to life one of America’s premier writers and her impression of growing up in America - her view of the “dream” and achievement. And the woman is still writing and adding to the lexicon of America. Wow.