Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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p. vii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xvii

When I was a child in the 1970s, I always imagined that I went to school twice as long as the other children on my block. By the time I was a teenager, my school day extended from eight in the morning until five-thirty in the afternoon. In the harsh Chicago winters, I arrived in the ...

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Binah

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pp. 1-34

The path is a narrow one. Though we are free, we will travel it as if we have no choice. We will labor to become all that we have been taught to be, all that we are supposed to be. We will reach for heaven from this earth; we will be eighteen; we will be young and bright, earnest and pious, ...

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Houses of Study

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pp. 35-68

It was my paternal grandfather who wore glasses. In 1933 in the European libraries that had allowed her in, Grandma Ann held a ruler for him beneath one faint line of manuscript, then another, and painstakingly he copied what he saw. Sometimes she held one manuscript and he another, and ...

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If They Be Two

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pp. 69-146

From the time I was a child I knew books were objects as well as voices. Things of which I was momentarily master, I took them off my bookshelves and laid them on the floor. I covered the carpet with them. They would all return to shelves (how would I walk otherwise?), but when they did, they would possess a new order and new identities. One week I ...

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Tree, Light, Fruit

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pp. 147-174

We're into new books now, books of a different sort. All have pictures. Some are made of paper, others of cloth and plastic and cardboard. Books for eating as well as reading. When I go into the bookstore now—Afterwords, on Main Street—I head for the back room, where it's all pleasure. ...

Acknowledgments

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pp. 175-177