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When We Were Ghouls : A Memoir of Ghost Stories - by Amy E. Wallen (Paperback)

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When Amy E. Wallen’s southern, blue-collar, peripatetic family was transferred from Ely, Nevada, to Lagos, Nigeria, she had just turned seven. From Nevada to Nigeria and on to Peru, Bolivia, and Oklahoma, the family wandered the world, living in a state of constant upheaval. When We Were Ghouls follows Wallen’s recollections of her family who, like ghosts, came and went and slipped through her fingers, rendering her memories unclear. Were they a family of grave robbers, as her memory of the pillaging of a pre-Incan grave site indicates? Are they, as the author’s mother posits, “hideous people?” Or is Wallen’s memory out of focus?

In this quick-paced and riveting narrative, Wallen exorcizes these haunted memories to clarify the nature of her family and, by extension, her own character. Plumbing the slipperiness of memory and confronting what it means to be a “good” human, When We Were Ghouls links the fear of loss and mortality to childhood ideas of permanence. It is a story about family, surely, but it is also a representation of how a combination of innocence and denial can cause us to neglect our most precious earthly treasures: not just our children but the artifacts of humanity and humanity itself.
 
Number of Pages: 279
Genre: Biography + Autobiography
Series Title: American Lives
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Univ of Nebraska Pr
Author: Amy E. Wallen
Language: English
Street Date: March 1, 2018
TCIN: 53268023
UPC: 9780803296954
Item Number (DPCI): 248-59-5935
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$13.89
MSRPReg: $19.95 Save $6.06 (30% off)
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Guest reviews

2
overall: 5 out of 5 stars, see all reviews

Most recent reviews

Mesmerizing and Sharp

(would recommend)
5 out of 5 stars
Rachel 9 months ago
This is a hauntingly beautiful memoir. Sweeping in both place and emotional landscape, Wallen weaves together the tapestry of her spellbinding and often uncanny childhood that includes grave robbing, crocodile hunting, and a family that in many way is more spectral than real. It's a book about the e...see moreof the reviewer's review
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Funny and insightful

(would recommend)
5 out of 5 stars
Daedalus 9 months ago
Best book I’ve read in the last 10 years. The with depth and intrigue, but also most importantly humor, Wallen digs through memory and family to find the truth about humanity.
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