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The Inventors

A Memoir

The Inventors by Peter Selgin
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In the Fall of 1970, at the start of eighth grade, Peter Selgin fell in love with the young teacher who’d arrived from Oxford wearing Frye boots, with long blond hair, and a passion for his students that was as intense as it was rebellious. The son of an emotionally remote inventor, Peter was also a twin competing for the attention and affection of his parents. He had a burning need to feel special.

The new teacher supplied that need. Together they spent hours in the teacher’s carriage house, discussing books, playing chess, drinking tea, and wrestling. They were inseparable, until the teacher resigned” from his job and left. Over the next ten years Peter and the teacher corresponded copiously and met occasionally, their last meeting ending in disaster. Only after the teacher died did Peter learn that he’d done all he could to evade his past, identifying himself first as an orphaned Rhodes Scholar, and later as a Native American.

As for Peter’s father, the genius with the English accent who invented the first dollar-bill changing machine, he was the child of Italian Jewssomething else Peter discovered only after his death. Paul Selgin and the teacher were both self-inventors, creatures of their own mythology, inscrutable men whose denials and deceptions betrayed the trust of the boy who looked up to them.

The Inventors is the story of a man’s search for his father and a boy’s passionate relationship with his teacher, of how these two enigmas shaped that boy’s journey into manhood, filling him with a sense of his own unique destiny. It is a story of promises kept and broken as the author uncovers the truthabout both men, and about himself. For like themlike all of usPeter Selgin, too, is his own inventor.
Hawthorne Books; May 2016
416 pages; ISBN 9780989360487
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Title: The Inventors
Author: Peter Selgin; Lidia Yuknavitch
 
ISBNs
0989360482
9780989360470
9780989360487