By Alex George

A LIBRARY magazine most sensible publication OF THE YEAR


Everything he'd noticeable were unimaginably various from the dry, dour streets of domestic, and to his shock he used to be now not sorry within the slightest. He used to be obsessed with the beguiling otherness of all of it.

And so begun my grandfather's rapturous love affair with America—an affair that will proceed till the day he died.

This is the tale of the Meisenheimer family members, instructed by means of James, a third-generation American dwelling in Beatrice, Missouri. It's the place his German grandparents—Frederick and Jette—found themselves after traveling around the turbulent Atlantic, fording the flood-swollen Mississippi, and being delivered to a surprising halt through the damaged water of the pregnant Jette.

A strong American tells of Jette's dogged decision to feed a city sauerkraut and soul foodstuff; the loves and losses of her young children, Joseph and Rosa; and the precocious voices of James and his brothers, occasionally raised in discord...sometimes in excellent concord.

But particularly, A stable American is concerning the song in Frederick's center, a music that started as an aria, used to be jazzed by means of ragtime, and have become an anthem of affection for his followed state that the relatives nonetheless hears to this present day.

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Extra resources for A Good American

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I had to work hard. I couldn’t handle it all: pulling up potatoes, tilling the vegetable garden and watering it . . You’re doing a good job. I told them about our field of carnations. I had to carry the baskets of laundry to the clotheslines, clean the stable, henhouses, pigeon coop, and rabbit cages, and provide fodder to the old horse with a sore on its left hip that was always covered with flies. I had to wash the dishes, kill hens and chickens, chop wood and pile it up all neat for when the great cold arrived.

Little by little the dog began coming closer to the farmhouse; if he caught sight of the farmer, who never even looked at him, the dog bared his teeth and the hair on his back stood up. I always left food for him by the same wall as that first time, and he always waited for me there. After he had eaten, he would sit next to me and the two of us would look at the moon. 51 MERCÈ RODOREDA He was always right there behind me, never leaving my side. He was my greatest companion; we loved each other.

When their father noticed that the ham was missing, the girls blamed the dog and escaped a good thrashing. They burst out laughing as if they had gone mad. A dull rapping on the wall by the hearth woke me. I pulled on my trousers and opened the door. It was the twins, who started laughing as they always did when they saw me. Camineta, wearing tiny gold earrings, whispered to me to go with them; they needed my help. She was carrying a small lantern. We went up to the second floor, holding onto the banister as we tiptoed up the steps.

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