A Frieze of Girls: Memoirs as Fiction by Allan Seager

By Allan Seager

A Frieze of ladies speaks with a clean voice from an American period gone. this can be greater than Allan Seager's tale of what occurred; it's also approximately how "the suppose of fact is especially just like the believe of fiction, in particular while both is in any respect strange."Seager offers us his coming-of-age tale, from a high-school summer season as a someday cowboy within the mammoth Horn mountains to a primary task at seventeen handling an antiquated manufacturing facility in Memphis to a hard-drinking scholarship 12 months in Oxford, reduce brief by means of tuberculosis. straight away humorous with an undercurrent of ache, the tales in A Frieze of women remind us of the realities we create to stand the realm and the previous, and in flip of the realities of the area we needs to unavoidably additionally confront. "Time makes fiction out of our memories," writes Seager. "We all must have a self we will be able to dwell with and the operation of reminiscence is artistic---selecting, suppressing, bending, touching up, turning our activities within out in order that we will haven't inevitably a likable, basically a believable identity." A Frieze of ladies is Allan Seager on the most sensible of his shape, and a reminder that fab writing constantly transcends mere fashion.Allan Seager used to be Professor of English on the college of Michigan and writer of many hugely praised brief tales and novels, together with Amos Berry. He died in Tecumseh, Michigan, in 1968. Novelist Charles Baxter is the writer of Saul and Patsy.

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He could run it all by himself. " After George had gone North and I had settled into the work, I found that there really was very little to do, just as he had said. The factory "ran" four months of the year. T'he rest of the time we shipped orders out of stock, and I kept bankers' hours. I used to take a Poplar Avenue streetcar, pick up the morning mail, and board a Thomas Street car for the fac­ tory. The Thomas Street cars were the oldest in Memphis. They ran very slowly, rocking backward and forward, and it was nearly nine-thirty when I reached the office, which was at the end of the line.

Then I felt him touch bottom; he had had to swim only eighteen or twenty feet. In a minute, I rode up the far bank, dripping. I turned and waved to Pat and Jimmy, and yelled, "Come on! You can make it! " I saw them talk a minute, and then they saddled up. They drove the tired mustangs into the river ahead of them, and the mustangs came out first and stood dripping and shudder­ ing with their heads hanging down. I sat watching Pat and Jimmy's taut faces above the brown water with real enj oyment.

I soaked my hair with Sta-Comb and it hardened, brittle and perfect. I polished my shoes and pressed the laces after I had fin­ ished browbeating Lorena into leaning on my linen pants until they could nearly stand alone on the creases. The last thing, I cleaned my nails and pushed the cuticle back. These were, of course, all magical acts. I sat down on the front steps with my creases accurately set to wait feverishly for Jack Bolton. When hope was about gone, he came, only five minutes late. I handed over the expense money and found that he had already sampled the gin, which I thought was a foul thing to do, somehow.

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