THE TIMES OF MY LIFE: A Memoir by Brent Ashabranner
Kirkus Star


Email this review


The author of many thoughtful photoessays, including Dark Harvest (1986), about migrant workers, and Always to Remember (1988), about the Vietnam Memorial, recounts the most significant events in his own unusual, productive life. Son of a small-town Oklahoma pharmacist, Ashabranner was lucky in having congenial friends who shared his yen to write; with diligence and persistence, he contrived to go to college as the Depression wound down and WW II loomed. After a stint in the South Pacific (no action, but some pungent lessons), he began to teach, but was drafted to go to Ethiopia with the Point Four program--first of several foreign assignments that culminated in his becoming Deputy Director of the Peace Corps. Ashabranner is a fine storyteller, and what he chooses to tell is always interesting; he includes some wonderful anecdotes, especially from his Peace Corps years (e.g., one volunteer, bitten by a venomous snake, seized the opportunity to demonstrate the proper treatment to his class), and illuminates historical events from his personal vantage point. Meanwhile, he paints an engaging, modest picture of a talented, compassionate man who has consistently used his gifts to make the world a better place. Like Meltzer's Starting from Home (1988), a memorable self-portrait.

Pub Date: Nov. 3rd, 1990
Page count: 114pp
Publisher: Cobblehill/Dutton