The author of The Group, the groundbreaking bestseller and 1964 National Book Award finalist that shaped a generation of women, brings reminiscences of her girlhood to this intimate and illuminating memoirHow I Grew is Mary McCarthy's intensely personal autobiography of her life from age thirteen to twenty-one.Orphaned at six, McCarthy was raised by her maternal grandparents in Seattle, Washington. Although her official birthdate is in 1912, it wasn't until she turned thirteen that, in McCarthy's own words, she was -born as a mind.- With detail driven by an almost astonishing memory recall, McCarthy gives us a masterful account of these formative years. From her wild adolescence--including losing her virginity at fourteen--through her eventual escape to Vassar, the bestselling velist, essayist, and critic chronicles her relationships with family, friends, lovers, and the teachers who would influence her writing career.Filled with McCarthy's penetrating insights and trenchant wit, this is an unblinkingly honest and fearless self-portrait of a young woman coming of age--and the perfect companion to McCarthy's Memories of a Catholic Girlhood.
Mary McCarthy (1912-1989) was an American literary critic and author of more than two dozen books including the 1963 New York Times bestseller The Group. Born in Seattle, McCarthy studied at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, and graduated in 1933. After moving to New York City, McCarthy became known for her incisive writing as a contributor to publications such as the Nation, the New Republic, and the New York Review of Books. Her debut novel, The Company She Keeps (1942), initiated her ascent to become one of the most celebrated writers of her generation, a reputation bolstered by the publication of her autobiography Memories of a Catholic Girlhood in 1957, as well as that of her now-classic novel The Group.