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A Memoir



"In his sensitive debut memoir, essayist, biographer, and nonfiction writer Kanigel recounts his life in the 1960s, crucial years when the Vietnam War roiled the country and he confronted his unsettled future...Thoughtful, candid reminiscences from a veteran writer." -- Kirkus Reviews





Blurbs (solicited)


"In his absorbing memoir, the acclaimed journalist Robert Kanigel finally turns his keen eye on himself, taking the reader on his journey from shy youth in the conformist 1950s to full-blooded personhood in the liberating tumult of the 1960s and leaving us just as he starts what was to be a long and brilliant writing career.  Tender, reflective, witty, rueful, always honest, and always good company, Kanigel reveals himself with eloquent simplicity and rare candor.  A rour de force of self-examination, Young Man, Muddled opens a window onto the origin story of an extraordinary life." -- Ellen Pall, author, Must Read Well.


"An incomparable nonfiction author whose page-turning biographies reveal unparalleled psychological depths in stunning prose has turned the subject on his younger self and the result, a true masterwork, is no less fascinating.  A primer on coming of age in a fissuring society, Kanigel's beautiful, probing, deeply moving memoir is one you won't put down." -- Tristine Skyler, Executive Producer of IFC Films' The Man Who Knew Infinity.


"An exhilarating journey into the mystery of self.  Kanigel's sifting through the confusions, hopes and longings of his past invites all of us to do the same.  We'll be better for it.  -- Arthur J. Magida, author, Code Name Madeleine: A Sufi Spy in Nazi-Occupied Paris.


"Kanigel is a great biographer.  He has a marvelous gift of finding interesting characters and using them to reveal the world in which they lived, and which they usually helped shape.  In this book, he trains his sights on himself.  Writing with revealing honesty and marvelous grace, he uses the story of his own life to illuminate an important moment in American life." -- Charles Duff, author, The North Atlantic Cities.





 Early Readers Write


"Kanigel writes the story of his life after college graduation honestly and vulnerably. His memoir includes the impactful people, moments, and places he experiences which show how he moved through his 'muddled' adult life. The contrast between the ongoing Vietnam War and the 1960s' sense of liberating individuality cause Kanigel to explore different paths than he had set out on after graduating with a B.S. in engineering. The sudden and unexpected career change from engineer to writer -- "not because I decided to become a writer, but because I began to write" -- offers valuable lessons to college students and graduates about their futures after graduation. Young Man, Muddled would make a great gift to college students and 'muddled' college graduates who are beginning to experience adulthood in their early 20s." --  on Amazon.


A wonderful story full of the ups and downs that a young college graduate experiences when entering the real world. Kanigel takes a deep dive into his "muddled" adulthood to explore the moments that would eventually turn him into the acclaimed author that he has become. Turning to writing from engineering represents a stark change in Kanigel's life that offers a valuable lesson to college students: having a concrete career plan is not necessary. Kanigel writes his memoir in an honest and vulnerable tone that allows readers to see the best and worst of himself during this period of his life. This book makes a great gift to college students, college graduates, or those in the "muddled" adulthood of their early 20s, and I highly recommend reading the book and exploring Kanigel's fascinating life. --  on Barnes & Noble