Fraser, Joelle 1966-
FRASER, Joelle 1966-
ADDRESSES: Agent—Jandy Nelson, Manus & Associates Literary Agency, 425 Sherman Ave., Suite 200, Palo Alto, CA 94306.
CAREER: Writer and teacher. San Francisco Chronicle, book reviewer.
AWARDS, HONORS: Macdowell fellow; nonfiction award, San Francisco Foundation.
The Territory of Men (memoir), Villard (New York, NY), 2002.
Contributor to periodicals, including Iowa Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Fourth Genre.
SIDELIGHTS: Joelle Fraser's The Territory of Men is a memoir of her life, beginning with her childhood in northern California, the Pacific Northwest, and Hawaii during the 1960s and 1970s. Booklist's Kristine Huntley called it "a thoughtful, reflective memoir of a young woman coming of age and navigating the examples her parents have set for her." Fraser's father, an aspiring writer, was an alcoholic, and her mother, who also abused alcohol, became involved with a succession of men after she and her husband split up when Fraser was a toddler. Fraser learned to adapt to these substitute fathers, and as an adult, her own relationships with men were colored by her experiences.
Fraser grew up in the hippie culture of her parents and smoked pot and drank beer at the age of four. She sold her childish watercolors on the street, and when she was a teen, her father's young girlfriend taught her how to use men. Fraser's relationship with her father was loving, and BookPage writer Rebecca Denton noted that "the scenes involving her father are some of the most touching and graceful in the book."
"The Territory of Men, Ms. Fraser's confident first book, is an autobiographical effort to take stock of such an upbringing and its consequences," wrote Janet Maslin in the New York Times. "Although she will surprise no one by revealing that these formative years made her grow up to be commitment-phobic and inclined to drown her sorrows, Ms. Fraser writes interestingly and affectingly about her flower-powered childhood."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Fraser, Joelle, The Territory of Men, Villard (New York, NY), 2002.
Booklist, July, 2002, Kristine Huntley, review of TheTerritory of Men, p. 1817.
BookPage, July, 2002, Rebecca Denton, review of TheTerritory of Men, p. 10.
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2002, review of The Territory of Men, p. 634.
New York Times, July 22, 2002, Janet Maslin, review of The Territory of Men, p. E7.
Publishers Weekly, May 13, 2002, review of The Territory of Men, p. 60.
Washington Post, July 26, 2002, Carolyn See, review of The Territory of Men, p. C3.
Joelle Fraser Web site,http://www.joellefraser.com (December 22, 2002).
Seattle Post-Intelligencer Online,http://www.seattlepi.nwsource.com/ (August 23, 2002), William Henderson, review of The Territory of Men.
SF Gate,http://www.sfgate.com/ (July 21, 2002), Sara Ivry, review of A Territory of Men.
USA Today Online,http://www.usatoday.com/ (August 27, 2002), Andrea E. Hoag, review of The Territory of Men.*