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North of Crazy: A Memoir Hardcover – October 4, 2016
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"A fascinating life journey." --Booklist
“An epic and very personal memoir of riches to rags to spiritual and artistic triumph. Neltje's life story is profoundly moving--and instructive. A classic, honest, and beautifully written memoir.”–Bill Henderson, editor, Pushcart Prize and author of the memoirs Tower; Cathedral; and All My Dogs
“North of Crazy is informative, passionate, compelling and extraordinarily well-written. Neltje’s remarkable story captures and combines her individuality of spirit with a personal journey that will surprise and impress readers, page by page.”--Lee Gutkind, Editor, Creative Nonfiction Magazine
About the Author
Neltje is an abstract expressionist painter. She has had solo exhibitions at the University of Wyoming Art Museum and the Yellowstone Art Museum among many others, and galleries in Miami, Denver, and Chattanooga. In 2005 she received the Wyoming Governor's Art Award. She lives in Wyoming.
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Not just a memoir, but also a snapshot of a changing country, and how people reacted to the culture.
As the author shares some of her earliest childhood memories, they mirrored many of the same frustrations my mother had felt at the same tender age...having strong, loving bonds with others, only to face the baffling confusion at the slow revelation that the color of one's skin dictates how one is allowed to behave/feel/think about another human being.
As Neltje struggles with understanding the world of adults, as well as her own identity, the reader is enlightened to how the culture of the 1940s elite responded to race, child abuse, alcohol, gender, and other issues.
Into adulthood, the relationship she has with her brother is tabloid worthy, and also a reminder of how women were viewed.
The curative powers of the creative spirit and the wild Wyoming wind come into play as her life story further unfolds.
If the 'middle' seems to lag a bit, it's worth hanging in there for the ending, which I'll not spoil. Just know that the end is rich and satisfying...'crazy' does not have to be the definition of who you are.
I knew little about the Doubleday family and even less about Neltje prior to reading this book. About six months ago, the need to heal some wounds led me to those same Wyoming winds. Never been there before, but within 24 hours of arriving made an offer on some of the most beautiful, spiritual land...the air stirring up dormant creativity and calm, while purging the drama.
Knowing what this extraordinary woman has overcome, and what she has done for my adopted state, is an inspiration. This book is an inspiration.
Most recent customer reviews
The one-named artist Neltje writes of her life between the 1940s and the present day.Read more