On the afternoon of February 24th, 1965, Amylu Danzer, a twenty-year-old art student who’d been visiting Jones Beach on Long Island, went missing. A month later, her body was swept ashore some sixteen miles away, at Far Rockaway.
In this tender, courageous, artfully structured and engagingly written memoir, the writer and photographer John Rosenthal looks back on his youthful friendship with Amylu, and, drawing on multiple sources, seeks to answer some of the questions which have haunted him ever since he first learned of her death, now half a century distant.
Pam Durban observes in her introduction that “one of the great pleasures of this book … is the pleasure of traveling with the writer as he traces how the boy who knew Amylu … and the young man who lost her became the man who remembers her now. It’s the pleasure of watching something take shape that works like memory itself, tracking back and forth between now and then, picking up images and events and ‘questions posed and unanswered’ by his life and Amylu’s and fitting them into the developing mosaic that I’m calling a story. It is the pleasure of watching him question and doubt, and wish he could correct his younger self.”
SEARCHING FOR AMYLU DANZER is a truly affecting book—a book, as Durban says, of “lingering power and grace.” Not the least of its achievements is to ensure that, however short her life was, Amylu Danzer will not be counted as one of those “which have no memorial … and are become as though they have never been born.”
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John Rosenthal was born in New York City in 1942. He received his BA from Wake Forest College in 1964, and an MA in English Literature from Columbia University in 1966. He taught English at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill until 1971 when he left teaching to become an essayist and a photographer. His work has been widely exhibited in the United States, including exhibitions at The National Humanities Center, The National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C., and Boston's Panopticon Gallery. His articles have appeared in many journals and magazines, amongst them The Sun Magazine, Five Points and The Huffington Post. In 1998 a collection of Mr. Rosenthal's photographs, Regarding Manhattan, was published by Safe Harbor Books, and in 2015 Safe Harbor published his 2007 collection of New Orleans photographs, AFTER: The Silence of the Lower 9th Ward. In the 1990s, Mr. Rosenthal was a regular commentator on NPR's All Things Considered.Author City: CHAPEL HILL, NC USA