This memoir introduces us to the young Toby Wolff, who is tough and vulnerable, crafty and bumbling, but ultimately winning. Separated by divorce from his father and brother, Toby and his mother are constantly on the move, yet they develop an extraordinarily close, almost telepathic relationship. As Toby fights for identity and self-respect against the unrelenting hostility of a new stepfather, his experiences are poignant and comical. Wolff does a masterful job of re-creating the frustrations and cruelties of adolescence. His various schemes - running away to Alaska, forging checks, and stealing cars - lead to an act of outrageous self-invention that releases him into a new world of possibility. Tobias Wolff was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and grew up in Washington State. He attended Oxford University and Stanford University, where he now teaches English and creative writing. He has received the Story Prize, both the Rea Award and PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in the short story, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and the PEN/Faulkner Award.