Tag Archives: autobiography

Who, not What

Excerpted from Insomniac City by Bill Hayes, ©2017: Earlier, over dinner, O (Oliver Sacks) talking about his late friend Gaj– Carleton Gajdusek, a Nobel laureate in medicine– with great excitement and conviction, comparing him to Goethe, of whom it was said, O told me, “He had a nature. A nature.” I thought I knew what …

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Marveling at the Lottery Logic

“I am told by longtime New Yorkers that the subway used to be awful– garbage-strewn, graffiti-covered, suffocating in the summer, dangerous at night all year round. And of course I know plenty of people who despise taking it today, even though the cars are remarkably safe, clean, and cool. I suggest they ride with me. …

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I love you, I miss you…

Steve Irwin wrote his autobiography, The Crocodile Hunter, in 2001, just a year after the death of his mother.  His dedication to her is heartbreaking: I’m dedicating this book, and my life, to my mum. I loved my mum more than anything in the world. She nurtured, protected, and loved me all my life. Lyn …

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On In Out

“Turn on, tune in, drop out.”  ~Dr. Timothy Leary Excerpt from Dr. Timothy Leary’s autobiography Flashbacks, ©1983: “Turn on” meant go within to activate your neural and genetic equipment. Become sensitive to the many and various levels of consciousness and the specific triggers engaging them. Drugs were one way to accomplish this end. “Tune in” …

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You Watch What I Tell You

Excerpted from The Seventh Child: A Lucky Life by Freddie Mae Baxter, edited by Gloria Bley Miller, ©1999: My mother was only forty-nine years old when she died. She wasn’t sick before she died– like you say somebody was sick a long time– unless she was hiding it. She wasn’t in bed where you had …

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Of Course

“I wanted to write so that I would have something interesting to read, for while everything I read was quite good, some of it wonderful, I believed that I would write better, and so of course it turned out to be.”  ~William Saroyan There are people in this world who suffer from low self-esteem.  William …

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Just Sitting and Being Alive

Excerpted from The Bicycle Rider in Beverly Hills, the autobiography of William Saroyan, © 1952: Water to an Armenian is a holy thing, like fire. A farmer watering his plants, trees, or vines is taking part in a rite which has profound meaning and satisfaction for him. The farmers of Fresno went to the headgates …

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The anxiety and fear that was plainly showing

In this excerpt from his memoir The Bicycle Rider in Beverly Hills, William Saroyan relates a memory of his mother’s from when his family crossed the Atlantic to America, c. 1888: My mother also remembered an Assyrian woman on the boat from Havre to New York, in steerage. This woman helped my mother take care …

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But He Is Also

Excerpted from The Bicycle Rider in Beverly Hills, the autobiography of Armenian writer William Saroyan, © 1952: It is necessary to remember and necessary to forget, but it is better for a writer to remember.  It is necessary for him to live purposely, which is to say to live and to remember having done so.  …

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Morning Has Broken

Excerpted from The Bicycle Rider in Beverly Hills, the autobiography of William Saroyan, © 1952: Morning is best when it begins with the last hours of night. For years I have known midday mornings. There is something to be said for them. There is a quality of confusion and overlapping in them which is sometimes …

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The Pinnacle of Evolution

“Each people is, I believe, inclined to believe it is the purpose of history, that all that has happened is leading to the now, to this world, this country. Few of us see ourselves as fleeting phantoms on a much wider screen, or that our great cities may someday be dug from the ruins by …

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We do not at present educate people to think but, rather, to have opinions…

Excerpted from Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir by Louis L’Amour ©1989: Acquiring an education has many aspects, of which school is only one, and the present approach is, I believe, the wrong one. Without claiming to have all the answers, I can only express my feeling that our methods of instruction do much …

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