Cover image for Pull me up : a memoir
Pull me up : a memoir
Barry, Dan, 1958-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton & Co., [2004]

Physical Description:
325 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN4874.B328 A3 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PN4874.B328 A3 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
PN4874.B328 A3 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
PN4874.B328 A3 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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A generational memoir of the American suburbs, Pull Me Up is a deeply affecting book. With prose that to Frank McCourt "flashes with poetry," New York Times columnist Dan Barry tells the story of an unforgettable American family. He writes so crisply that we not only feel his emotions but also recall our own: the joy of Little League, the thrill of small-town reporting, the pain of losing a parent, and the fear of facing a life-threatening illness. Barry's writing has its own stalwart beauty, a single melody teased out of the American symphony. Here is the voice of an authentic American writer.

Author Notes

The "This Land" columnist for The New York Times, Dan Barry has shared a Pulitzer Prize and a George Polk Award, and received the 2003 Distinguished Writing Award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors. He lives with his family in Maplewood, New Jersey.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Although Barry is the New York Times's "About New York" columnist, his memoir isn't the story of his award-winning journalism career. More like Pete Hamill or Frank McCourt, Barry wants to recount growing up Irish and Catholic on Long Island in the late 1950s and '60s. "Pull me up" was his mom's morphine-soaked plea as she lay dying of lung cancer on the living room sofa-and what a shock it was that his mother was the first to go, as his father had suffered through paralyzing cluster migraines for 20 years. Barry takes readers back to what he calls the Eisenhower years, when gas stations handed out "plaid stamps," women's perms had a distinct "chemical whiff" and delis made potato salad loaded with bacon. He lovingly details seasoning his baseball mitt, oiling, binding and hiding it under his mattress. He relives his Catholic school upbringing, complete with hazing from upperclassmen and pedophilic assaults from Brother Noel, but also those wonderful teachers who helped him realize his calling as a writer. After college came various jobs and romances, even marriage and adopting a baby, all of which is very entertaining, but is horribly interrupted six months after Barry's mother dies, when he finds himself diagnosed, at age 41, with cancer. Perhaps anyone's struggle to survive a deadly illness transforms their life; as Barry puts it, he knew "what it was like to nearly drown," and then felt the "sting of a saltwater blessing" on his face. This is a beautiful book. Agents, Todd Shuster and Lane Zachary. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

"About New York" columnist for the New York Times, this Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist now writes about himself. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.