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Flyover Lives: A Memoir
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Published:
Penguin Publishing Group 2014
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Available from OverDrive
Description
“[A] vivid . . . quest for roots. . . . Splendid.”
The New York Times Book Review
 
Growing up in the small river town of Moline, Illinois, Diane Johnson always dreamed of venturing off to see the world—and did. Now having traveled widely and lived part-time in Paris for many years, she is stung when a French friend teases her about Americans’ indifference to history.  Could it be true? The j’accuse haunts Diane and inspires her to dig into her family’s past, working back from the Friday night football of her youth to the adventures illuminated in the letters and memoirs of her stalwart pioneer ancestors—beginning with a lonely young soldier who came to America from France in 1711.
 
As enchanting as her bestselling novels, Flyover Lives is a moving examination of identity and the “wispy but material” family ghosts who shape us. As Johnson pays tribute to her deep Midwestern roots, she captures the perpetual tug-of-war between the magnetic pull of home and our lust for escape and self-invention.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
01/16/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780698137486
ASIN:
B00DMCUZQ2
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Diane Johnson. (2014). Flyover Lives: A Memoir. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Diane Johnson. 2014. Flyover Lives: A Memoir. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Diane Johnson, Flyover Lives: A Memoir. Penguin Publishing Group, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Diane Johnson. Flyover Lives: A Memoir. Penguin Publishing Group, 2014. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:41:50
Date Updated:
Dec 07, 2020 20:54:03
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title
Flyover Lives
fullDescription
“[A] vivid . . . quest for roots. . . . Splendid.”
The New York Times Book Review
 
Growing up in the small river town of Moline, Illinois, Diane Johnson always dreamed of venturing off to see the world—and did. Now having traveled widely and lived part-time in Paris for many years, she is stung when a French friend teases her about Americans’ indifference to history.  Could it be true? The j’accuse haunts Diane and inspires her to dig into her family’s past, working back from the Friday night football of her youth to the adventures illuminated in the letters and memoirs of her stalwart pioneer ancestors—beginning with a lonely young soldier who came to America from France in 1711.
 
As enchanting as her bestselling novels, Flyover Lives is a moving examination of identity and the “wispy but material” family ghosts who shape us. As Johnson pays tribute to her deep Midwestern roots, she captures the perpetual tug-of-war between the magnetic pull of home and our lust for escape and self-invention.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        November 18, 2013
        Award-winning novelist and essayist (L’Affair) Johnson explores her Midwestern roots and family history in this charming and candid memoir. Using letters written by her pioneer ancestors, the author delves into family stories while examining the lure she always felt to leave her comfortable home in Moline, Ill. “A pleasant place, surrounded by cornfields, I had always longed to get out of.” Johnson eventually got her wish, expanding her cultural horizons by living in California, London, and France. Johnson fills her chronological narrative with glimpses into the lives of her the 18th-century ancestors—lives filled with departures for the New World, religious revelations, and the painting, quilting, knitting, crocheting, and canning skills that preoccupied her female ancestor’s lives and were common activities for both her mother and aunts. Johnson’s tale tips into contemporary times with recollections of her family’s love for bucolic self-reliance, played out in their summer home; her Protestant upbringing; and her experiences in New York while a guest editor at Mademoiselle alongside Sylvia Plath. Johnson lightly touches on her two marriages and her writing career. An enjoyable peek into how America shaped one celebrated author’s consciousness.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        November 15, 2013
        A European's challenge inspires a family history. Essayist, novelist and biographer Johnson (Lulu in Marrakech, 2008, etc.) became interested in her ancestors when a French friend remarked that Americans care so little about their pasts. Taking the criticism as a kind of dare, the author set out to unearth her origins in the Midwest, dismissively called "the Flyover." Growing up in Moline, Ill., in the 1940s, she admits, was uneventful. Her father was a school principal, her mother an art teacher; her extended family abounded in aunts, uncles and cousins. However, no one cared about the family's old-world roots. "We were Default Americans, plump, mild, and Protestant," writes Johnson, "people whose ancestors had come ashore God knew when and had lost interest in keeping track of the details...." Details, though, are what Johnson was after, and she found a treasure in a diary written in 1876 by her great-great-grandmother Catharine Perkins Martin. The diary, along with earlier letters and deeds, informs Johnson's narrative of her family's 18th- and 19th-century experiences. Catharine, newly married to a physician, settled in Illinois in 1826. Her life was hard; within five years, she had three daughters. In 1831, scarlet fever swept through the country, and within two weeks, all three were dead. Out of five more children, only one daughter survived; she married a man who fought in the Civil War. Johnson complements Catharine's memoir with her own recollections: summers at the family's cabin; afternoons at the movies; teachers' encouragement of her writing talent; a stint at Mademoiselle alongside Sylvia Plath, who "wore a merry face and a perfect pageboy bob"; marriages, motherhood, career. Some brief chapters seem like hastily recorded impressions, and a few are a bit shapeless. Nevertheless, Johnson, twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, is a felicitous writer, cheerfully alert to irony and absurdity. The unfailing deftness of the prose makes this book a pleasure.

        COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        January 1, 2014
        The author of shrewd and scintillating novels about Americans abroad, Johnson (L'Affaire, 2003; Lulu in Marrakech, 2008) grew up in Moline, Illinois, A pleasant place, surrounded by cornfields, I had always longed to get out of. And so she did, as she crisply and wittily recounts in this stealthily far-reaching family history. Johnson's personal story gains resonance in harmony with a remarkable set of memoirs written by her great-great-great grandmother, Anne, born in 1779, and Anne's daughter, Catharine, a teacher who, after a tortuous nine-year engagement, married a doctor only to endure his depression and long absences and the deaths of all but one of her nine children. Johnson perceives that her skilled and strong foremothers lived daunting yet satisfyingly useful lives. Adeptly structured, incisive, funny, and charming, Johnson's look back delves into deep questions of history and inheritance, from the impact of America's many wars on the Midwest to the transforming changes in modern women's lives to her own adventures as a novelist and screenwriter raising a large, blended family, living overseas, and keenly observing cultural differences, personal quirks, and timeless commonalities.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        August 1, 2013

        Johnson hardly has to whip out her writing credentials, having been a two-time finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in essay, biography, and fiction. Long a resident of France, she was surprised when a friend there said of Americans, "You don't really know where you're from." Inspired, Johnson dug up a rich lode of information about her intrepid pioneer ancestors in and around small-town Moline, IL--hence the "flyover" in the title. Many readers will identify, and more will enjoy.

        Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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“[A] vivid . . . quest for roots. . . . Splendid.”
The New York Times Book Review
 
Growing up in the small river town of Moline, Illinois, Diane Johnson always dreamed of venturing off to see the world—and did. Now having traveled widely and lived part-time in Paris for many years, she is stung when a French friend teases her about Americans’ indifference to history.  Could it be true? The j’accuse haunts Diane and inspires her to dig into her family’s past, working back from the Friday night football of her youth to the adventures illuminated in the letters and memoirs of her stalwart pioneer ancestors—beginning with a lonely young soldier who came to America from France in 1711.
 
As enchanting as her bestselling novels, Flyover Lives is a moving examination of identity and the “wispy but material” family ghosts who shape us. As Johnson pays tribute to her deep...
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publisher
Penguin Publishing Group