In this funny and tender memoir, John Freely reflects on a remarkable life. Splitting his early childhood between the U.S. and Ireland inspired in Freely a lifelong desire to see the world and its inhabitants. At age six he settled in Brooklyn, where he spent a sometimes tumultuous boyhood amidst a large extended family: moving from house to house, the family’s belongings packed in an uncle’s hearse. Growing up poor, in his teens, Freely took whatever jobs he could when times got tough, always shaking off his losses and moving on, hungry for new experiences and adventures. He joined the U.S. Navy at seventeen to “see the world” and did just that. As a member of an elite commando unit, he was sent to one of the most remote places in Asia where he served alongside Chiang Kai-shek’s Chinese forces during the last weeks of World War II. A vivid recollection on a world that now exists only in memory, The House of Memory is a lasting tribute to a life well lived, and to all of the immigrant families who have struggled, endured, and enriched our country.
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; March 2017
- ISBN 9780451494719
- Read online, or download in secure EPUB format
- Title: The House of Memory
- Author: John Freely
In The Press
“Marvelous. . . . Freely paints an unforgettable portrait of a richly lived Irish American life.”—IrishCentral
About The Author
John Freely was born in Brooklyn in 1926, served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1946, graduated from Iona College, received a Ph.D. in nuclear physics from New York University, and did postdoctoral work at All Souls College, Oxford, England. He taught physics for more than fifty years at Bosphorus University—formerly Robert College—in Istanbul, where a building was recently named for him. He is the author of more than sixty books on Turkey, Greece, biographical figures, and the history of science. Freely died in 2017.