LITERATURE

First Time Ever

Faber & Faber. 2017. 416p. photos. ISBN 9780571336791. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9780571336814. mEMOIR
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OrangeReviewStarThe author, half-sister to folk singer Pete Seeger, is a force of folk all her own. In this lovely firsthand account, Seeger shares memories of her idyllic childhood and reflections on race, as her family employed African American domestic workers. She also explores cultural differences as she looks back on her travels through Europe and Asia as a young woman playing music; she delves into her identity as both a public performer and a woman, daughter, partner, mother, musician, activist, and feminist, crafting the narrative from recollections and her own diaries. Readers will find a constellation of folk music greats here, all linked by Seeger's anecdotes. Now in her 80s, Seeger is enmeshed thoroughly in the search to know herself fully. One delightful aspect is Seeger quoting from biographies of her life, written by others. The chronological structure zigzags a bit in time, but it mimics the way memory works.
VERDICT An engrossing read for all, even those who don't know their folk music history. (Memoir, 12/13/17)

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