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Romantic Education Paperback – Jun 1 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: WW Norton; 10 Anv edition (June 1 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393319059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393319057
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 0.3 x 2.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #73,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Hampl adds a new afterword to this 1981 memoir/travelogue about her ancestral home, Prague, based on her 1991 return visit.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Patricia Hampl is Regents' Professor at the University of Minnesota and lives in St. Paul. Patricia Hampl is the recipient of many honors, including a MacArthur Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I WAS FIVE and was sitting on the floor of the vestibule hallway of my grandmother's house where the one bookcase had been pushed. Read the first page
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
I first read Patricia Hampl's I Could Tell You Stories when I took a 1st person essay writing class, and all of us in the class became instant fans. Her book provoked endless discussions about the reliability (or Unreliability) of memory and the role it plays in memoir writing. Hampl's A Romantic Education allows us to continue following her down her chosen path as she returns to Prague in search of her heritage during the gray pall of socialism. This edition of A Romantic Education is a reissue following the Velvet Revolution and is full of richly nuanced detail that we have come to expect from Hampl. It's an elegant piece of writing that allows us to taste and dabble in the trickling stream of history running beneath the surface of the everlasting riddle of personal memory.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Elegant and lyrical June 28 2003
By Peggy Vincent - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I first read Patricia Hampl's I Could Tell You Stories when I took a 1st person essay writing class, and all of us in the class became instant fans. Her book provoked endless discussions about the reliability (or Unreliability) of memory and the role it plays in memoir writing. Hampl's A Romantic Education allows us to continue following her down her chosen path as she returns to Prague in search of her heritage during the gray pall of socialism. This edition of A Romantic Education is a reissue following the Velvet Revolution and is full of richly nuanced detail that we have come to expect from Hampl. It's an elegant piece of writing that allows us to taste and dabble in the trickling stream of history running beneath the surface of the everlasting riddle of personal memory.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A tale of two cities Feb. 4 2006
By Jay Dickson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Elegant, meditative, and special, Patrica Hampl's memoir of growing up in St. Paul and visiting her ancestral home of Prague deservedly won her a Macarthur genius grant, and remains a classic of its genre. When it was published in the early 80s, the gorgeous Bohemian captial of Prague was sheltered from the American line of vision by the Iron Curtain, and much less familiar to American readers than it is today; Hampl's book details her trip in the 70s to that loveliest of cities to visit her family's origins and learn something about her place in the world. But the book is also a beautiful meditation on another exceptionally romantic, and often still neglected, city, Hampl's hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota. Stunningly situated on the high bluffs overlooking a chasmic portion of the Mississippi, the home of F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Empire Builder James J. Hill, St. Paul has declined in cultural significance over the decades, overshadowed by its younger and more prosperous twin city across the river. But Hampl lovingly evokes what it was like to live in this atmospheric city of decaying Victorian mansions overlooking the downtown from the heights of Summit Avenue, both as a grandchild of Czech immigrants working as servants for the enmansed and as a young woman striking out as a student and a writer. It's an unusual, romantically-staurated memoir.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Patricia Hampl -- a wonderful writer Dec 17 2011
By Charles Ota Heller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had read the 1981 edition of A ROMANTIC EDUCATION previously and found it a fabulous memoir, written with great sensitivity and elegance. I bought the newer edition because I wanted to read the added Afterword, describing Hampl's visits to the post-communist Czech lands. As a native Czech (a dual citizen of the US and the Czech Republic) and a memoirist, I was curious to read how her stories, her feelings, and her impressions matched up with those I had, returning to my native land after 40-plus years in exile. When I first came, after the Velvet Revolution, I had mixed feelings about people who had been, or whom I had suspected of having been, members of the Communist Party. After all, my parents and I had to escape on foot across the border from the Reds, and these people had stayed. Now, some 22 years after the Velvet Revolution, it was Ms. Hampl who expressed my feelings more eloquently and insightfully than I've been able to do in my own writing. She wrote:

"...I understood finally that I had no business judging any of it or any of them... The Czechs may want to be part of 'the West,' but they know the West -- me with my blue American passport -- can't be part of their tangled history, their inner family. I may have 'my Mala Strana apartment,' but I'm forever a tourist on the bridge, dazzled by the scene."

My conclusion as well -- but she said it so much better! A terrific book!
Seeking roots in Prague Dec 12 2013
By Gary A. Grelli - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Much of this book is given over to a search of Czech ancestry. Ms. Hampl describes in great detail a three-week sojourn in Czechoslovakia, in particular, Prague, where she seeks to understand her family's history. It invoked the beauty of Prague and made me think about visiting it. If you have been to Prague, unlike me, you may find it even more intriguing.
2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
affirmation Aug. 7 2006
By Susan Larson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Being of eastern European descent, I found Hampl's book revealing and intriguing as it spoke of what my grandparents often alluded to when referring to "the old country."

I felt myself travelling with her, trying to find out something, anything, about my roots.


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