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Finding Celia's Place Hardcover – August 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press; 1st edition (August 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0890969639
  • ISBN-13: 978-0890969632
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #449,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

It would be easy to talk about the felicities of this memoir in terms of Morris' life circumstances--a woman now past 60 with several books to her credit, a product of Texas, Stanford, Oxford, and New York. Or to talk about her in relation to others, as the wife of, first, Willie Morris, editor of Harper's, and, later, Congressman Bob Eckhardt, or as student and colleague of Irving Howe, John Silber, and Vann Woodward. But what makes this vivid story completely fascinating is the woman herself: smart, sassy, and clear-eyed about her many mistakes. There's no self-pity here, even as she struggles with her mother's alcoholism (and her own), and there's only a trace of malice as she rebuts her ex-husbands' views of how things were. Morris has led a full life: listen to her recount the joys of student life at Oxford or the scent of flowers in a house in upstate New York or the hard-won satisfactions of historical research. She loved it all, describes it well, and is a terrific companion on the journey. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

“A heartening, dazzling book of love and compassion, rage and grit.”--Blanche Wiesen Cook, author, Eleanor Roosevelt
(Blanche Wiesen Cook, author, Eleanor Roosevelt)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Chandler Davidson on January 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Celia Morris is a well-known feminist and political activist who grew up in Houston, attended the University of Texas in the 1950s, and was drawn to the women's revolution as an adult. This fascinating memoire vividly describes her gradually developed understanding of women's thralldom in a sexist society, and her ultimately successful efforts to achieve freedom. Her story, however, is not simply an account of one woman's liberation. It is an extremely well-written, humane, and balanced account of her marriages to the writer Willie Morris and the Texas politician Bob Eckhardt, of her intense friendships with mentors--male and female--and of her complicated relations with her family as she broke free of the traditional constraints of woman's role as it was defined in the 1950s. There is much to be learned from Morris's autobiography. Not least is the long and difficult road many women her age have traveled to gain autonomy, and the special satisfactions that autonomy brings. I recommend it highly.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nancy C. Allen on January 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book and couldn't put it down once I started. The story is an autobiography of a girl who grew up in Texas in the 40s and 50s and her surprising life's journey. What interested me in the book was that Celia begins her life as the "perfect girl"- A "University Sweetheart" from the Theta sorority at the University of Texas. With her background and accomplishments, most would have predicted that she would have ended up in the suburbs with 2.5 children doing nonprofit work, etc., but she truly chose "the road less taken." Pulling her in a different direction was her intellectual ability and curiosity-she was a Phi Beta Kappa at Texas-which eventually led her to New York and the upper reaches of the literary world there. Part of the book is devoted to her marriage to William Morris, on paper the "perfect man"--Rhodes Scholar, noted editor--but in reality less than perfect. She is brutally honest about their marriage, their life and his and her infidelities. This book will be of particular interest to those women who came of age in the 50s and did end up in the suburbs for this glimpse of life "on the other side." This book would also be of interest to those who would be interested in how an ambitious and talented woman in the 50s attempted to break out of the norm and the difficulties that faced her. Her keen observations refreshed my childhood and youthful memories and her life's story provoked deep thought on the meaning of a successful life. It is a fabulous book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Judith Paterson on February 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I've read lots of memoirs by women and written one. Let me tell you, Celia Morris' "Finding Celia's Place" is in a class all its own. For starters, it is beautifully written and hard to put down. More importantly, she pushes the envelope for honesty among women on the subjects of sex, motherhood, marriage, and politics. I can think of hardly any books that go as far as she does in depicting a woman's sexual maturation beyond youth and into late middle age. She stands almost alone among women who have written well about their intellectual roots and maturation. Simone de Beauvoir's "She Came to Stay" is the only book I can think of to compare to this one.
judith paterson
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Leslie H. Whitten on January 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is the incandescent story of a woman born in Texas who travels the far geography of her mind and the earth unafraid to be strong, brilliant, bursting with life and laughter. The celebrated people she encounters in this country and abroad are vividly drawn, but none more so than herself. Her observations on her Texas roots and the intellects of Washington, New York and London are fascinating. "Finding Celia's Place" should find a place in every thoughtful woman and man's bookshelf and heart.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Morris displays a vivid and yet relaxed style in looking back on an incredible and still ongoing life in the world. She finds the words to recount her struggles in close detail yet with universal meaning. And she portrays the various men and women in her life--writers, politicians, and just friends--in full and fair ways. In the past, Morris has written fine historical biography and intelligent feminist journalism, but this is the best book of all.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Anderson on March 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Celia Morris' memoir should be a permanent fixture on the syllabus of any Women's Studies course - or American History, for that matter. Morris' wrenching account of a woman struggling to keep up appearances at the same time that she is developing intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically throws into high relief the relative comfort in which the daughters of her generation (like me)are able to move through life. Were it not for the faith - and occasional lapses of it - and courage of women like Celia Morris, women of my generation would have no hope but to fall victim to the same myths of femininity and womanly duty.
American women of all ages owe Celia Morris a debt of gratitude for giving us her story.
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