Twelve Years: An American Boyhood in East Germany

Paperback | May 10, 2000

byJoel Agee

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Joel Agee, the son of James Agee, was raised for twelve years in East Germany, where his stepfather, the novelist Bodo Uhse, was a member of the privileged communist intelligentsia. This is the story of how young Joel failed to become a good communist, becoming instead a fine writer.

"A wonderfully evocative memoir. . . . Agee evoked for me the atmosphere of postwar Berlin more vividly than the actual experience of it—and I was there." —Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times

"One of those rare personal memoirs that brings to life a whole country and an epoch." —Christopher Isherwood

"Twelve Years consists of a series of finely honed anecdotes written in a precise, supple prose rich with sensual detail." —David Ghitelman, Newsday

"By turns poetic and picturesque, Agee energetically catalogues his expatriate passage to manhood with a pinpoint eye and a healthy American distaste for pretension. . . . Huckleberry Finn would have . . . welcomed [him] as a soulmate on the raft." —J. D. Reed, Time

"A triumph. . . . Unfettered by petty analysis or quick explanations, a story that is timeless and ageless and vital." —Robert Michael Green, Baltimore Sun

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From Our Editors

This intriguing memoir by Joel Agee describes his childhood in Germany. Twelve Years An American Boyhood in East Germany describes the author’s interesting paternal literary lineage. He is the son of James Agee, but was raised by the famous communist and writer Bodo Uhse. This evocative and well-written work received excellent revi...

From the Publisher

Joel Agee, the son of James Agee, was raised for twelve years in East Germany, where his stepfather, the novelist Bodo Uhse, was a member of the privileged communist intelligentsia. This is the story of how young Joel failed to become a good communist, becoming instead a fine writer."A wonderfully evocative memoir. . . . Agee evoked fo...

Joel Agee has translated numerous German authors into English.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:334 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.9 inPublished:May 10, 2000Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226010503

ISBN - 13:9780226010502

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From Our Editors

This intriguing memoir by Joel Agee describes his childhood in Germany. Twelve Years An American Boyhood in East Germany describes the author’s interesting paternal literary lineage. He is the son of James Agee, but was raised by the famous communist and writer Bodo Uhse. This evocative and well-written work received excellent reviews from theTime, Newsday, and the New York Times Book Review. Agee is also the prize-winning translator of many German literary works, including Rilke's Letters on Cezanne.

Editorial Reviews

“A wonderfully evocative memoir. . . . Agee evoked for me the atmosphere of postwar Berlin more vividly than the actual experience of it—and I was there."