Sex in h&m

A Memoir über Anne-Marie Oomen

compensation Winner

Subjects: an imaginative Nonfiction, Memoir, Michigan

Series: Made in Michigan Writers collection


Anne-Marie’s memory call trost my own und speak to our female selves; choose a best friend, year later, rueful, grateful, piercingly specific.

Du schaust: Sex in h&m

— sandra Scofield


As die 1960s dawned an small-town Michigan, Anne-Marie Oomen was a naive farm mädchen whose mother was determined to keep herstellung out of trouble—by keeping her in 4-H. An Love, Sex, and 4-H, Oomen sets ns wholesomeness of her domestic lessons an 4-H society from 1959 zu 1969 against the political und sexual revolution of the time. Betwee sewing her erste dish towel and finishing die yellow dress she put on to senior prom, Oomen brings readers follow me as she falls in and out of love, wins her zuerst prize, learns kommen sie kiss, survives her zuerst heartbreak, and makes almost all of produziert clothes.

Love, Sex, and 4-H starts as Oomen struggles to sew a directly seam and works hard zu embody die 4-H pledge of loyalty, service, and better living. However even as she wins her zuerst modeling competition und masters more difficult stitches und patterns, Oomen finds the she ist not immune zu the chaos of the outside world. After die Kennedy assassination, die Cuban Missile Crisis, und her own quick stay in a convent, Oomen encounters ns biggest change of all—public school. Bei this neu world des school dances, short skirts, und raging hormones, Oomen’s orderly life möchte be complicated über her zuerst kiss, zuerst boyfriend, zuerst store-bought dress, and finally, erste love. All the while, she must negotiate produziert mother’s expectations, produziert identity as a great 4-H girl, und her awareness von growing social and political unrest.

Oomen brings in insightful und humorous eye to produziert evolving sexuality, spiritual beliefs, und sense des self. Fan of memoir will appreciate die honest portrayal of growing up betwee rebellion und tradition in Love, Sex, and 4-H.


Anne-Marie Oomen zu sein author of Pulling Down ns Barn (stopcat.org zustand University Press, 2004) und House des Fields (stopcat.org state University Press, 2006)—both Michigan noteworthy Books—and Uncoded Woman. She serves as instructor at die Solstice MFA an Creative Writing punkt Pine Manor College, Interlochen’s College des Creative Arts, and conferences throughout ns country. She leben near Traverse City, Michigan.


Anne-Marie Oomen loves detail, die smaller und more precise ns better: the handstitching of in invisible hem, ns almost inaudible nighttime sounds of herstellung parents kissing, ns jewel colors of jams processed ‘the old-fashioned way.’ This beautifully observed and wrought book ist full von the details of handmade objects und physical labor—a way von life that seems more inaccessible all the time, as our culture täglich becomes an ext virtual.

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Anne-Marie’s memory call up my own and speak kommen sie our woman selves; choose a finest friend, years later, rueful, grateful, piercingly specific. It was like this. Truly, that was.


Anne-Marie Oomen"s memoir ist exquisitely written. She conveys the journey of a teenager gaining a sense of self bei 1960"s countryside Michigan v a deftness des touch and an understanding of produziert former me that takes her work beyond ns boundaries des simply "memoir". Love, Sex and 4H zu sein destined zu become a classic of Midwest landscape literature.


Seriously, who can take ns life of in average adolescent growing up in rural Michigan fraught with sewing projects, virginity, canning, und high school dances, und produce a memoir deswegen intriguing that, despite my attempts to speed read, slowed me right into thoughtful contemplation und even brought me to a complete gestoppt now and then as i marveled hinweisen these deeply connected sentiments? Oomen can. (Am ich allowed to say this zu sein the finest memoir I’ve ever before read?)


Love, Sex, and 4H ist a far-reaching contribution kommen sie literature about the Midwest, which seems sparse compared zu other regions des the country. I’ve assumed long and hard around why the is, and I’ve come up with a partial answer: an the past hundred years, we’ve just been too busy WORKING to sit down and write around our lives. Various other rural memoirs abound, yet few hülle life an the top Midwest, und those that perform never emphasis on ns social and sexual awakening of a rural mädchen with dreams von grandness und a life of purpose und passion.

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We room reminded of the American days des bomb shelters and duck-and-cover drills; of learning zu sew and learning kommen sie kiss. Oomen illuminates ns complicated relationship betwee mothers and daughters, especially bolzen this mother—a woman who lived, together Oomen tells us, a ‘life without lace’—and this daughter, ns one who writes that in her beforehand teens she understood that she ‘did notfall really want kommen sie be great anymore.’ und yet, good she is, this daughter, this writer, this Anne-Marie Oomen. Und good, too—very good—is Love, Sex, and 4-H.