I Remember: A Life of Politics, Painting and People (Hardcover)
While luminaries from her father the physiologist Walter B. Cannon and the Kennedys to Adlai Stevenson and the Galbraiths have been influential forces in Marian Schlesinger's very full life, I Remember is less an account of her celebrated family and friends than it is a refreshing, sometimes salty, always compelling account of a richly independent life, much of it focused on her art.
The settings range from academic Cambridge in the 1920s to China and Central America in the 1930s to Washington in the early 1960s and Cambridge thereafter. The politics are local as well as national—the feistiness of Massachusetts ward politics, the chaos of the presidential campaign trail and the frustratingly rarefied indulgences of the salons of Washington. Throughout a life in which politics was central, Marian never let it interfere with her more private life as an artist. Her painting has ranged from domestic portraiture to landscapes of sites throughout the world including China, Central America, India and the mills of New England.
Unstated, but evident in I Remember are the travails and accomplishments of a woman coming of age in a pre-feminist era, an era not quite prepared for strong-willed, independent women who refused to let gender push them to the ornamental edges of political life. As an author, artist and activist, Marian straddled diverse worlds. I Remember is an uncommonly appealing account of a thoroughly uncommon life that offers unexpectedly fresh glimpses into events and people—some illustrious, others forgotten—that have shaped our time.
About the Author
Both a landscape painter and a portrait painter of distinction, Marian Cannon Schlesinger is the author and illustrator of several children's books and has contributed articles to newspapers and magazines. The first volume of her memoirs, Snatched from Oblivion, described growing up in an extraordinary family in the special academic setting of Cambridge, Massachusetts, from the early years of the 20th century until 1940. Born in 1912, Ms. Schlesinger still lives in Cambridge.
“Marian Schlesinger has written a rollicking, joyful account of a life acutely lived. Whether she is describing the foibles of glamorous New Frontiersmen in Washington or the eccentricities of denizens of Faculty Row in Cambridge, this author brings a wicked eye for hypocrisy or pretense. Ultimately, it is her ebullience that distinguishes this book.” —Priscilla McMillan, author of The Ruin of J. Robert Oppenheimer
“Marian Schlesinger takes us to China, to India, and to Washington, D.C., in the Kennedy era, but most of all she takes us back to her hometown of Cambridge, Massachusetts, sharply observing its cultural transformations over the course of a century. A host of personalities parade through this book under the subtly arched brow of Schlesinger. Cambridge changes and so does she, but we are in her solid good company all the way, and all the wiser for it.” —Belinda Rathbone, author of The Guynd: A Scottish Journal