A Frieze of Girls
Memoirs As Fiction
AUTHOR: Seager, Allan
PUBLISHER: University of Michigan Press
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A Frieze of Girls speaks with a fresh voice from an American era long past. This is more than Allan Seager's story of what happened; it is also about how "the feel of truth is very like the feel of fiction, especially when either is at all strange."
Seager gives us his coming-of-age story, from a high-school summer as a sometime cowboy in the Big Horn mountains to a first job at seventeen managing an antiquated factory in Memphis to a hard-drinking scholarship year in Oxford, cut short by tuberculosis. At once funny with an undercurrent of pain, the stories in A Frieze of Girls remind us of the realities we create to face the world and the past, and in turn of the realities of the world we must inevitably also confront. "Time makes fiction out of our memories," writes Seager. "We all have to have a self we can live with and the operation of memory is artistic---selecting, suppressing, bending, touching up, turning our actions inside out so that we can have not necessarily a likable, merely a plausible identity." A Frieze of Girls is Allan Seager at the top of his form, and a reminder that great writing always transcends mere fashion.
Allan Seager was Professor of English at the University of Michigan and author of many highly praised short stories and novels, including Amos Berry. He died in Tecumseh, Michigan, in 1968. Novelist Charles Baxter is the author of Saul and Patsy.
PUBLICATION DATE: 1/16/2004
CATEGORY: Biography & Autobiography, Literary Criticism, Social Science