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Coming of Age in California

Second Edition - Adding Seven Essays Including the Preface View Contents.

COMING OF AGE IN CALIFORNIA was selected one of the 20th century's top 100 nonfiction books from the West by a San Francisco Chronicle readers' poll.

These intense personal essays, dealing with everything from dogs to cancer, follow a fifth-generation Californian from a blue-collar boyhood to a white-collar manhood, revealing several regions of the state and even regions of the soul.

Reviewer comments!

"This is not a literary biography, but a revelation of self in public confession, without guilt, of humble beginnings that produced a brillant literary man....It is his naked honesty that strikes so deep, that makes me care so much, honesty that makes the writing tough and never close to sentimental."
— Floyd Salas, from the Foreword

"Haslam celebrates his California heritage ... with affection, and understanding."
— Wayne Saroyan, The San Francisco Chronicle

"...a touching and honest book by a great California writer and thinker."
— Dale Walker, The Rocky Mountain News

"In revealing himself, the author also inevitably unfolds his backdrop, the terrain for these essays -- California itself."
— Holly Johnson, The Sacramento Union

"His lucid, crisp prose punctuates the struggle to find something special about his state -- and his own experience in it."
— Len Fulton, Small Press Review


  • NEW! Preface
  • Pop
  • NEW! Bruins, Brownies, and Unions: Tuolumne Meadows, 1948
  • An Affair of Love
  • Coming of Age in California
  • NEW! A Lesson from Home
  • Reflections from an Irrigation Ditch
  • Brothers' Boy
  • NEW! "There Will Never Be Another You"
  • Portrait of a Pal
  • Bloodrites (Click here to read this essay)
  • Growing Up at Babe's
  • Homage to Uncle Willie
  • NEW! A Personal Cancer
  • NEW! Fleas on Board
  • Denouement
  • Writing About Home
  • NEW! A Braided Californian

Coming of Age in California is available in paper and E-book from:
Devil Mountain Books, P.O.Box 4115, Walnut Creek, CA 94596. or