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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, brilliant memoir of turning out to be up in Pittsburgh within the Nineteen Fifties.

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Sample text

Besides Sailing Alone, Slocum left a small published legacy of two additional accounts of voyages; a souvenir pamphlet about the Spray; a few unpublished letters to his editors, government officials, family, and friends; and scattered newspaper interviews with inquisitive journalists. Teller has collected and published most of this material, and after reading it our first impression is that we know this man as we would a traveling companion. Throughout Sailing Alone Slocum appears honest, forthright, and direct, like Henry David Thoreau in Walden ( 1854), a man who cared more for truth than money, love, or fame.

Slocum saves the cargo and crew, and his company rewards him with command of the Constitution. The first large luxury ocean liner is launched. 1872On January 10 Victor Joshua Slocum is born aboard the Con stitution, berthed in San Francisco Bay. 1873Benjamin Aymar Slocum is born aboard Slocum舗s com mand, the B. Aymar, in Melbourne, Australia. 1875Stranded in the Philippines, Slocum puts his considerable shipbuilding skills to work constructing the hull of an 80-ton steamer in Subic Bay. In lieu of payment, he is given the schooner Pato, which he sails home across the Pacific.

1858Joshua runs away to work as a cook on a local fishing schooner but soon returns home. The Great Eastern, hailed as the world舗s largest steamship, is launched in England. 1860Slocum舗s mother dies, and Joshua leaves home for good, shipping out on a deep-water vessel heading to Ireland. He begins working as an ordinary seaman for British merchant ships, sailing to China and Southeast Asia. Abraham Lincoln is elected president of the United States. 1862After passing an examination, Slocum is certified as second mate.

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