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The Curse of Iqbal: Memoir of a Ship Broker's Son by Robert Stephen Hamlin

The Curse of Iqbal: Memoir of a Ship Broker's Son

by Robert Stephen Hamlin

130 pages
A ship broker's son recalls the business before containerization.

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Category: Autobiography
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About the Book
Even as a little kid the author harbored visions of becoming a writer or perhaps a gym teacher. Those dreams were deemed insufficiently ambitious to his parents, who had experienced the Great Depression firsthand. They gave all three of their children the best education money could buy. Over two centuries ago the poet William Wordsworth (“My Heart Leaps Up”) wrote “the child is father of the man.” For the author of this memoir studying the poets of the Romantic era of English literature was the highlight of all his many years of schooling. And the dreams of the child never were completely snuffed out.

Through the twists and turns of a young man becoming an adult, the author became subject to the draft lottery instituted to insure the country had an adequate supply of men to fight the North Vietnamese. However, before his number ever came up, he found himself in a hospital bed, after a week of unconsciousness, in the intensive care ward. He had been in a devastating car accident, a head-on collision that killed both driver and passenger of the car that hit him. His injuries turned out to be mostly physical, despite the ominous warning from his neurological surgeon. He missed a year to operations, physical therapy, and relearning to walk, but he walked away stronger in body, mind, and spirit.

While this book is no misery memoir, it does in subtle tones remind the reader that we all are subject to things over which we have no control. Seeing life through the prism of paralysis as he did, the author long ago adopted an attitude of gratitude and acceptance. Buoyed by an indomitable sense of humor and indefatigable spirit, through the years, he has remained up when many around him are down.

The informal, yet chronological setting of the book will bring you along for many of the voyages the author took in the fifteen or so years after the accident, but leaves you at the end, quite literally, up in the air as he ponders what life has in store for him next. Whether the author is travelling by backpack or hunkered down in office suites in Manhattan, his optimistic point of view continues to carry him through both loss and recovery, through reinvention and rediscovery.

 

 

About the Author
After dividing his working life into shorter careers as a cargo broker, real estate salesman, personal trainer, and group exercise instructor, Robert finally found time to sit back and try to make sense of it all. What he discovered was that writing was what he wanted to do all along.

 

 

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