An American Childhood by Annie Dillard

By Annie Dillard

A booklet that immediately captured the hearts of readers around the kingdom, An American Childhood is Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Annie Dillard's poignant, shiny memoir of transforming into up in Pittsburgh within the Nineteen Fifties.

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If he believes himself to have been convicted unjustly, the murderer can proclaim his innocence, and it is a known fact that public protest of this kind has in several important cases led to a retrial and the acquittal of the accused. Committees are at liberty to defend him publicly. Thus in a variety of ways he neither stands alone nor is without public support. The eighteenth-century jurist, Beccaria, like Kant, took the view that the introduction of public trial and debate provided the ultimate guarantee for the accused.

If I speak of this strange situation it is because I have experienced it and to a certain extent experience it still. Even though I have been out of psychiatric hospital for two years, I am still a missing person for the public who have heard of me. I am neither alive nor dead and, though I have not been buried, I am 'bodiless'. 1^ an^simply missing which was Foucault's splendid definition of madness. In contrast with someone who has died and whose death marks the end of the life of an individual who is then buried, a missing person runs the curious risk of reappearing as large as life (as happened in my case).

He was indeed a very sensual man, having already had a number of affairs as a bachelor - how dreadful! and even a mistress called Louise (that Christian name) whom he had simply dropped when he got married without saying a word to her. It was again my aunt who referred to this impecunious and mysterious young woman as someone the family never mentioned). Finally, my father decided without further ado that my mother should at once give up her job as a teacher, and, therefore, the world she had chosen for herself.

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