In Fond Remembrance of Me: A Memoir of Myth and Uncommon Friendship in the Arctic

by Howard Norman | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 0312425228 Global Overview for this book
Registered by ThymeWaits of Tonawanda, New York USA on 2/22/2007
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10 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by ThymeWaits from Tonawanda, New York USA on Thursday, February 22, 2007
From the back of the book:

In the fall of 1977, Howard Norman went to Churchill, Manitoba, to translate Inuit folktales, and there he met Helen Tanizaki, an extraordinary linguist translating the same tales into Japanese. In Fond Remembrance of Me recaptures their intimacy, and the remarkable influence that she, and the tales themselves, would have on the future novelist. Through a series of overlapping panels of reality and memory, Norman evokes with vivid immediacy their brief but life-shifting encounter, and the earthy, robust Inuit folklore that occasioned it.

From my pen :

This is a beautiful little book.

Journal Entry 2 by ThymeWaits from Tonawanda, New York USA on Thursday, March 29, 2007
This book is now available.

Journal Entry 3 by ThymeWaits from Tonawanda, New York USA on Sunday, June 17, 2007
hold for memoirs vbb

Journal Entry 4 by ThymeWaits from Tonawanda, New York USA on Friday, June 29, 2007
in the mail to geishabird

Journal Entry 5 by geishabird from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Monday, July 16, 2007
Thank you very much! This looks like a very good read.

Journal Entry 6 by geishabird from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Saturday, September 15, 2007
A very sweet little memoir. Howard Norman's fondness for Helen Tanizaki is evident in the portrait he creates of their brief friendship. She sounds like someone I would like to have known. I particularly liked the way Norman describes Helen's attitude towards her illness - she's very human, not unrealistically heroic, about the fact of her impending death. I felt very privileged to have spent some time with her.

The Inuit Noah stories were hilarious! A terrific example of the particular Inuit sense of humour. They are a fascinating people and I wish they'd fared better at the hands of "civilization." That's one chapter in Canadian history we can't be particularly proud of.

Journal Entry 7 by geishabird from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Saturday, March 15, 2008
Offered this up in the Live Swap we held tonight at Spring Rolls...I believe HoserLauren wound up taking it home.

Journal Entry 8 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Saturday, March 15, 2008
Got this tonight from Geisha in a swap. Sounds very interesting! I haven't read much Canadian non-fiction so I'm looking forward to it. Thanks Geisha!

As a side note - Hi ThymeWaits!! Hope to see you again in the summer when we travel to Buffalo :D

Journal Entry 9 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Friday, May 30, 2008
Howard Norman is employed by a museum to travel to Churchill, Winnipeg, Canada to transcribe Inuit folktales into English. There he meets Helen, who is essentially doing the same thing, except translating into Japanese. Helen has a better command for the language and gets along much better with Mark, the person who they are hearing the folktales from. From the beginning we learn that Helen has stomach cancer and Norman uses the book to explain the impact Helen, Mark, and the folktales have made on his life.

Throughout the book are about 10 Inuit folktales that Norman has translated. Each of them have to do with Noah's ark and what happened when Noah sailed into Hudson's Bay. While I found the first one very interesting, all of them were very similar, making me feel like I was reading the same thing over and over again. Perhaps for the sake of not boring the reader, Norman could have cut down the number of tales he wrote in.

I have no doubt that some people may love this book, but it just didn't do it for me. I was having troubles following Norman because he was delving too deep and getting too philosophical for me. Furthermore, I found some of the exchanges between him and Helen just plain weird.

Journal Entry 10 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Friday, May 30, 2008
Mailed today to Krin as part of the Non Fiction swap.

Journal Entry 11 by krin511 from Olney, Maryland USA on Saturday, May 31, 2008
Arrived today - thanks!

Journal Entry 12 by krin511 from Olney, Maryland USA on Thursday, February 26, 2009
This was an interesting look at an Inuit culture and their retelling of the Noah story set in the Arctic. I liked how Norman reflected on his conversations with Helen and her maintaining a sense of dignity in spite of adversity.

Journal Entry 13 by krin511 at Swap, BookObsessed Swap -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, March 07, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (3/7/2009 UTC) at Swap, BookObsessed Swap -- Controlled Releases

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Mailed to msjoanna for the Biography/Memoir swap!

Journal Entry 14 by msjoanna from Columbia, Missouri USA on Sunday, March 15, 2009
This has arrived in Brooklyn (safely forwarded from my prior address). Looking forward to it -- looks very interesting.

Journal Entry 15 by msjoanna from Columbia, Missouri USA on Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I've never read anything else by Howard Norman, but I quite enjoyed this quirky little memoir telling the story of his brief by intense friendship with Helen. Both Howard Norman and Helen arrive in a remote part of Canada to translate some Inuit folk tales: Helen is translating to Japanese, while Howard is translating to English. Translations of the folk tales, all telling the story of when Noah and his ark accidentally landed in the Hudson Bay and encountered the Inuit people living there, are interspersed through the narrative. A nice, light book with interesting meditation of the meaning of friendship and the terminal illness of Helen.

Journal Entry 16 by msjoanna at BookObsessed Relay, A Book Relay -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Released 9 yrs ago (7/28/2009 UTC) at BookObsessed Relay, A Book Relay -- Controlled Releases

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Sent to VeganMedusa as part of the wishlist relay on bookobsessed.com. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 17 by VeganMedusa from Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on Thursday, August 06, 2009
Thanks msjoanna, I look forward to reading this. A well-travelled little book already.

Journal Entry 18 by VeganMedusa from Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on Tuesday, September 15, 2009
A lovely little book. I got a little bored with the Noah's ark stories, but getting to know Helen was rewarding. I hope she did indeed become the bird of the sea and cliffs that she wanted.
This is going to azuki next, unless she's managed to get a copy already.

Journal Entry 19 by VeganMedusa from Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on Sunday, February 14, 2010
Posted to azuki.

Journal Entry 20 by wingAzukiwing from Miami, Florida USA on Tuesday, March 02, 2010
I remember wishing for this at a BookObsessed swap, and am really glad that this book did find its way to me afterall. Thanks all my dear friends for passing it on!

Journal Entry 21 by wingAzukiwing at Miami, Florida USA on Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Shortly after I started reading, I realize I've read Norman's novel, The Haunting of L, in the past, and I don't know if it skews me to see the similarity.

The book is an unusual memoir, it gives me a peek into Helen's philosophy and into Inuit life and folklore. I don't mind the different versions they are all kind of fun, but I am curious about the origin of the Noah stories though. I wonder if it starts with a real event of some lost traveler arriving in an Inuit village a long time ago, or if the people heard about the Noah Ark story from missionaries and started their own spin on it.

This is now reserved for the Native American bookbox.

Journal Entry 22 by wingAzukiwing at Erishkigal's Native American Bookbox, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Released 5 yrs ago (8/20/2013 UTC) at Erishkigal's Native American Bookbox, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases

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Putting into the Native American bookbox. Hope the next reader enjoys it too.

Journal Entry 23 by k00kaburra at San Jose, California USA on Tuesday, October 15, 2013
This book enjoyed a brief stop in Boulder, UT before continuing its journey in Erishkigal's Native American bookbox.

Journal Entry 24 by erishkigal at Salt Lake City, Utah USA on Wednesday, November 20, 2013
This will be a keep-to-read~~it looks fascinating, and I love seeing so many journals/previous readers. Thanks for including it, azuki!

Journal Entry 25 by erishkigal at Salt Lake City, Utah USA on Saturday, February 08, 2014
This one's now being packed in a box marked tbr. It has been and still is crazy here....still moving, still sorting thru 40 years of Mom's living here, and it's taking much longer than I expected....I go to bed, and when I wake find all the "stuff" has had wild sex while I slept, and multiplied like rabbits! And my books....omg, I can't believe how many boxes....trying to be ruthless and sending many (non registered) to the thrifts... :( ...tbr boxes will be accessed randomly once I'm at least semi-settled.....

Journal Entry 26 by erishkigal at Salt Lake City, Utah USA on Friday, April 06, 2018

Released 1 yr ago (4/11/2018 UTC) at Salt Lake City, Utah USA

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Putting this well-travelled book in AlterEgoZoe's Indigenous Peoples Bookbox. May the next reader enjoy as much as I did!

edited to add:
oh, no~ I see I didn't journal when I unearthed and read this! And this long after, I'm unable to give specifics....I do recall being fascinated, by the various versions, and wondering about the christian influences...


Journal Entry 27 by AlterEgoZoe at Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania USA on Saturday, June 23, 2018
Wow! This did a lot of traveling. Came home in the indigenous peoples bookbox. Looks like an interesting read.

Journal Entry 28 by AlterEgoZoe at Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania USA on Sunday, September 02, 2018
Ditto to HoserLauren’s review of this book (who said it better than I could, and a copy paste):

“Throughout the book are about 10 Inuit folktales that Norman has translated. Each of them have to do with Noah's ark and what happened when Noah sailed into Hudson's Bay. While I found the first one very interesting, all of them were very similar, making me feel like I was reading the same thing over and over again. Perhaps for the sake of not boring the reader, Norman could have cut down the number of tales he wrote in.

I have no doubt that some people may love this book, but it just didn't do it for me. I was having troubles following Norman because he was delving too deep and getting too philosophical for me. Furthermore, I found some of the exchanges between him and Helen just plain weird. ”

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