Sunday, June 10, 2012

Win a copy of An Uncommon Education by Elizabeth Percer





I was handed An Uncommon Education, Elizabeth Percer's extraordinary new novel by her editor, Maya Ziv, who also happened to be a former assistant of my agent. Maya had saved my life when I almost botched sending in the right manuscript, and so I was willing to look at anything she wanted me to--and this book was astonishing. About a young woman's coming of age, and how she begins to learn how to find and figure out what really matters in life, An Uncommon Education is the kind of book you want to hand to all your friends. And all this week, we are having a giveaway! there are five copies to hand out and all you have to do is comment on Elizabeth's  question below. The first five commenters will win a copy of the book! Please email me your email to reach you at carleavitt@hotmail.com.


People have asked me if the title for this novel was the original one. And the answer is no! The idea for the title came from the idea that we all have uncommon educations--not uncommon in the sense of rare or privileged, but uncommon in the sense of being unique to our own particularly chosen paths. Far more important than the knowledge I gained in school were those moments of informal learning that happened along the way -- my mother reading Irish poetry to me as a toddler; my father telling and retelling me stories of his childhood in Jerusalem; joining an underground Shakespeare Society when I should have been studying more at college. How have you learned to craft a life around what is uncommon to you? 

17 comments:

Diane Turner said...

Hearing my grandmother tell of her adventures as an emigrant from Germany in the 1920s. Fascinating!

Kathryn Gahl said...

The most unexpected sources I learned from include: Mike, who got up at four AM to observe the prairie chickens dance; my first ICU patient who, dying of leukemia, refused to let her fiance see her; the boys who crow-barred into my Baltimore row house; Artie, who saved me at sixteen when I was drowning so I could learn to swim in college; Susan, who taught me that frame is everything in ballroom dancing; my roommate who became a nun to quell her feelings after falling in love that summer; ancestors who appeared in an apparition when I was in Ireland, and lastly, my own children, for the ways they laugh with me.

Theresa said...

The most unexpected source for me was the principal of my Catholic high school, who told me in my senior year that girls either got a job or went to college, but did not do both. That confirmed to me that there really is no such thing as an authority figure.

Sherri K (CurliLocks) said...

Hearing the stories of how my grandparents came to America from Portugal through Elis Island, and through Hawaii from Spain (working as indentured servants in the fields) taught me of hard work and determination. After losing my mother tragically, and almost dying myself, I learned to fight and be strong, hold onto life. Having my son has taught me greater love, understanding, and patience.

Ms.Bossy-Boots said...

As a pre-schooler, my paternal great grandmother (a PA Dutch farm woman who didn't speak English until she was 13), taught me practical skills that have come to be sources of joy in the modern world: how to knit, crochet, hook rugs, make noodles (dried on the back of kitchen chairs!), & Chow-Chow!

Caroline Leavitt said...

Please don't forget to email me your address so I can get you your book!

LuAnn Schindler said...

I think an uncommon education happens naturally. Parents, grandparents and extended family sharing bits and pieces of family history. My husband's love of the outdoors and his family's dairy farm - which is an eye-opening, round-the-clock operation. My children, who effortlessly look at the world through different light. The grandkids, who show that good manners and innocence still melt my heart. It's all there, always there, waiting to be discovered. Isn't it wonderful!

Caroline Leavitt said...

Theresa, please email me your address (carleavitt@hotmail.com) so I can send you a book! And thank you everyone for commenting!

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