Self-Portrait with Turtles

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
A book review

Submitted: April 07, 2014

A A A | A A A

Submitted: April 07, 2014



A  Critical Review of Self-Portrait with Turtles: A Memoir

by David M. Carroll


In this book called Self-Portrait with Turtles: A Memoir by David M. Carroll, who is Author of The Year of Turtle and Swampwalker's journal and Winner of The John Burroughs Medal. According to his memoir he graduated from a bachelor of fine school. Even though he has a wife and three children, this book talks more about his life with turtles and their swampy habitats. Also how he becomes good as an artist.


During his early ages he would go every day to different swamps in the forest near their home, “not just for the turtles”, he says but to see the beautiful nature that surrounds the swamps. Everything from the trees, water, turtles, water lilies, flowers, and sun, just fascinated him. It was like an “eye opening”, as he said in the book. He mostly uses imagery words and good flowing sentences to describe to the readers what he found inside those swamps and how it made feel.


When the Author was a senior in high school he really enjoyed his art class. “In this classroom that year I began to understand what it meant to be an artist and to adopt the life of an artist”. Knowing that his teacher told him art is the only thing that matters, the only thing that lasts, he decided to go to a museum school then was accepted to a bachelor's of Fine Arts College. This is where he met Laureate, who later became his wife. He continued his career as teacher and as an artist. Many of his paintings were inspired by nature. His wife said, “He spent most of his time at the zoo, gardens, and nature to get his inspiration for his drawings” and western style kinds of arts. He also did many readings and researches of turtles then he would do drawings of it.


For this critical review of Self-Portrait with Turtles: A memoir by David M. Carroll, he did a good job proving his point of it is important to do what makes you happy in life no matter what. Also explaining what it was important to him in his life. It made me think about how a different artist would wonder about anything. However, it was difficult to understand some of his word choices trying to create an image in the reader’s mind, which was confusing. I recommend this book to one who enjoys readings of animals and the fans of his art. This is a good interesting memoir by David M. Carroll. 

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