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September 2008 Selection: Restoring the Burnt Child: A Primer
By: William Kloefkorn
Copyright: 2003


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About the Book:

Restoring the Burnt Child is the second volume in William Kloefkorn's four-part memoir which, when completed, will cover the four elements: water, fire, earth, and air.

Negotiating the no man’s land between ages nine and thirteen, this memoir of a small-town boy’s life in 1940s Kansas continues the story William Kloefkorn began in his much-loved volume This Death by Drowning. With characteristic humor and in prose as lyrical as his best poetry, Kloefkorn describes the unsentimental education he received at the hands of the denizens of Urie’s Barber Shop and the Rexall Drugstore and at the knees of the true characters who made up his family. From the “firefly” stunt that nearly burns down his home to the distant firestorms of World War II, fire holds an endless range of subtle and surprising lessons for the boy, whose impressions Kloefkorn conveys with the immediacy, naiveté, and poignancy of youth—and reconsiders with the wisdom and distance of age.

By turns charming and resolute, funny and moving, Restoring the Burnt Child powerfully brings to life the lost, unforgettable world of a boy, and a poet, coming of age in midcentury middle America.

Restoring the Burnt Child: A Primer was the 2008 selection for the annual One Book One Nebraska statewide reading program.

Related Web sites:

University of Nebraska Press site for the book

2008 One Book One Nebraska site

Nebraska Center for Writers page for William Kloefkorn

William Kloefkorn on Wikipedia

NWU Alumni page for William Kloefkorn


If You Like Restoring the Burnt Child: A Primer, Try:

This Death by Drowning
By: William Kloefkorn. 1997. [Vol 1 of his autobiography]

At Home on This Moveable Earth
By: William Kloefkorn. 2006. [Vol 3 of his autobiography]

Poetry: Capturing the Moment with U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser and Friends
By: NET Foundation for Television. 2005.


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