Set in the tiny village of Orient, Long Island, and in New York City, "Into the Garden with Charles" is a memoir about falling in love. As a boy in suburban New York in 1940s, Clyde Wachsberger daydreams about storybook gardens where magic happens under the huge leaves.Read more...
Set in the tiny village of Orient, Long Island, and in New York City, "Into the Garden with Charles" is a memoir about falling in love. As a boy in suburban New York in 1940s, Clyde Wachsberger daydreams about storybook gardens where magic happens under the huge leaves. Through the 1960s and 1970s, when most gay men disdained monogamy, the author an artist and set-designer in New York City searches unsuccessfully for a soul mate. In 1983, approaching middle-age and having given up on finding love, he moves to a three-hundred-year-old house on a third of an acre, where he channels his passion into creating a garden appropriate to his historical home. Then remarkable circumstances lead him to Charles a connoisseur of art, a gardener, and the man who will become his life-partner. Together they create a garden of sensuous wild beauty.
"Into the Garden with Charles" is infused with the author's artistic sensibility and is written in a voice that is unaffected, generous, and straightforward. Enriched with the author's paintings giving it the look and feel of an antique children's book "Into the Garden with Charles" is a unique and moving memoir about growing old and falling in love."
- ISBN-13: 9780374175719
- ISBN-10: 0374175713
- Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
- Publish Date: April 2012
- Page Count: 209
- Dimensions: 8.55 x 5.84 x 0.81 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.24 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-10-10
- Reviewer: Staff
Wachsberger’s refreshing and heartfelt memoir invites the reader into a house, a garden, and two lives filled with affection and warmth. Sagging floorboards and rotting linoleum greet Wachsberger (Stories and Poems for Gardeners) when, in 1983, he buys a 300-year-old house on Long Island. What will become a splendid garden is a “whole empty field around a clump of peonies.” The author, having “turned fifty without noticing how I had gotten there,” began “to grow around my loneliness the way a tree limb can grow through a chain-link fence, incorporating the sharp metal into its fiber without showing any outward signs of distress.” And then he falls in love with Charles. For Charles and Clyde, there are the impingements of aging (“It had been many years since anyone had seen me naked”) and of illness. When Clyde met Charles, he found the “best friend who was also an affectionate lover, a friend who shared my deepest yearning to be someone special for someone special” he had been looking for. Together they form a union, produce a book (Of Leaf and Flower ), and nurture a noteworthy garden. With a keen ear and eye for the anecdotal, Wachsberger sketches beautifully lucid picture in words, and his illustrative paintings add both beauty and emotional content to this candidly romantic memoir. (Jan.)