MY ISLAND HOME by James Norman Hall
Kirkus Star


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A delightful autobiography by the well-known author who died in 1951, a book like the mild breeze of a late summer day that wafts surprising and exciting scents on its serene way. Hall tells with humor of his boyhood in Colfax, Iowa, when the railroad and the Mississippi offered him his first traveling experiences; of his decision to study at Grinnell and his happy years there, of his next years in Boston as a social worker, always dreaming of being a writer and spending all his free time with his hand hitting the typewriter keys or turning the leaves of newly discovered book, usually of poetry. His second trip to England and the haunts of the poets concludes with his enlistment in the Royal Fusiliers, which he described in a series of articles for Ellery Sedgwick of the Atlantic Monthly, his first break. Later, he joined the Lafayette Esquadrille, an aviation outfit in France with which his experiences were full to the extent of several crashes and capture by the Germans, and which also resulted in his meeting with Nordhoff in Paris at the close of hostilities to write a history of the group. There began a partnership which carried the pair to the South Seas, to the Bounty trilogy (with Nordhoff the practical man and Hall the dreamer), and Tahiti, the island home. There are further travels -- Hall spent a happy season of solitude in Iceland, and there is the final trip to Grinnell for his fortieth reunion with visits to his children en route, and a return to Colfax, where he felt himself so firmly rooted. epilogue by Edward Weeks concludes, with a description of the death and Tahitian burial of the man beloved of the islanders, a book which reflects the warmth of its author and the wistfulness of the would-be ""Woodshed Poet"" -- for those who have enjoyed his writings.

Publisher: Little Brown -- A.M.P.