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Growing Up Mostly Normal
in the Middle of Nowhere:
by John Sheirer
About This Book
Sante Fe Writers Project Literary Award Finalist
"I wasn't kidnapped as a child, never abused, abandoned, beaten, or sold to the highest bidder."
So begins John Sheirer's delightful Growing Up Mostly Normal in the Middle of Nowhere. With the depth of a memoir and the flow of a novel, Sheirer chronicles how his simple youth of farm, sports, school, nature, and family led him to an unlikely adulthood as an author and college professor.
In bookstores overflowing with shallow celebrity "tell-alls" and wallowing rants about dysfunctional upbringings, this memoir stands out as a beautifully written account of a mostly happy, mostly normal, fully real life at once both ordinary and extraordinary. Sheirer explores intensely personal experiences and relationships with humor, surprise, awe, suspense, and deep insight.
A teacher of writing, public speaking, and literature for two decades, John Sheirer is currently a full-time faculty member at Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, Connecticut.
He lives in Somers, Connecticut, where he is an avid reader of memoirs, photographer, and hiker who does volunteer land preservation work with the Northern Connecticut Land Trust.
Feel free to use all or part of the following, and edit to suit. This content was prepared for your use. We ask no acknowledgement of any kind.
In Growing Up Mostly Normal in the Middle of Nowhere: a Memoir,
John Sheirer teaches us we can go home again . . . in fact, like
the author, we never really left.
Sheirer, a native of Madley, Pennsylvania, takes us on a
humorous and yet poignant journey from his "mostly normal"
boyhood in the "middle of nowhere" to his present job as
faculty member of Asnuntuck Community College in Connecticut.
The memoir is refreshingly upbeat unlike many of today's screaming
tell-alls. It's written as a series of evocative and candid vignettes as
he returns to the old farmstead after twenty years.
Growing up in a family of modest means, John recounts the hardships as
well as the joys of everyday life. He ties together the two passages
of his life--where he is and where he's been.
You'll laugh as he suddenly realizes he's inherited some of his
mother's qualities. At his first big trip away from home--his
senior class outing to New York City--a seven hour bus ride.
You may shed a tear as he recalls the significance of that last arm-wrestling
match with his father. The last moments he spent with his
Grandma before her death and the "secret" he learns.
If you're familiar with the roads he travels home on his route to the old farm in the south of southwest central Pennsylvania, you may feel you, too, are on your way home. He includes bits of local legend and history of the area.
Sheirer recently designed a memoir writing course at the college he teaches in. Surely this explains in part why his story is so richly told. You won't soon forget it.
Growing Up Mostly Normal in the Middle of Nowhere: a Memoir
was published by Foremost Press. It can be ordered through
local bookstores and at ForemostPress.com, Amazon and
Barnes & Noble.com.
ISBN 10: 0-9748921-1-4
208 pp, $13.97