Farewell by Horton Foote
A Memoir of a Texas Childhood

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Synopsis

For more than five decades, Horton Foote, "the Chekhov of the small town," has chronicled with compassion and acuity the changes in American life -- both intimate and universal. His adaptation of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and his original screenplay Tender Mercies earned him Academy Awards. He received an Indie Award for Best Writer for The Trip to Bountiful and a Pulitzer Prize for The Young Man from Atlanta.
In his plays and films, Foote has returned over and over again to Wharton, Texas, where he was born and where he lives, once again, in the house in which he grew up. Now for the first time, in Farewell, Foote turns to prose to tell his own story and the stories of the real people who have inspired his characters.
He was the first child of his generation of Footes, born into an extended family of aunts, great-aunts, grandparents and dozens of cousins once removed, all of whom discovered that even as a young boy Foote was an avid listener with an uncanny ability to extract a story -- including those deemed unfit for children. Foote's memories are of a time when going down to meet the train was an event whether or not you knew someone on it, when black and white children played together until segregation forced them apart at school-age.
Foote beautifully maintains the child's-eye view, so that we gradually discover, as did he, that something was wrong with his Brooks uncles, that none of them proved able to keep a job or stay married or quit drinking. We see his growing understanding of all sorts of trouble -- poverty, racism, injustice, marital strife, depression and fear. His memoir is both a celebration of the immense importance of community in our earlier history and evidence that even a strong community cannot save a lost soul.
In all of Foote's writing, he reveals the immense drama behind quiet lives, or as Frank Rich has said, "the unbearable turbulence beneath a tranquil surface." Farewell is as deeply moving as the best of Foote's writing for film and theater, and a gorgeous testimony to his own faith in the human spirit.
 

About Horton Foote

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Horton Foote was born in Wharton, Texas, in 1916. He is the author of Farewell: A Memoir of a Texas Childhood. He has written and adapted over fifty plays and screenplays, including The Trip to Bountiful, The Young Man from Atlanta, Tender Mercies, and To Kill a Mockingbird. In 1996 he was elected to the Theatre Hall of Fame, and in 1998 to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, from which he received the Gold Medal for Drama for his life's work. Foote has been awarded two Oscars; a Pulitzer Prize; the PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award for Drama; the New York State Govenor's Award, presented by Governor George Pataki; and from President Bill Clinton, the National Medal of Arts.
 
Published September 29, 1999 by Scribner. 288 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, History, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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Foote still lives in the house he was raised in, and he provides interesting hints at how much has changed, but he’s so concerned with describing every last twig of his family tree, from great- great-grandpappy Foote forward, that he misses this opportunity, and so many others, to reflect more br...

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Publishers Weekly

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Though he later earned the moniker Chekhov of the small town for his portrayals of ordinary lives, Foote never heard of the Russian master until he went to California at 17 to study acting. In fac

May 31 1999 | Read Full Review of Farewell: A Memoir of a Texas...

Publishers Weekly

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Though he later earned the moniker ""Chekhov of the small town"" for his portrayals of ordinary lives, Foote never heard of the Russian master until he went to California at 17 to study acting.

| Read Full Review of Farewell: A Memoir of a Texas...

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