From Jonathan Yardley in the Washington Post: "Engaging…delightful … Wolf returns to the Big Easy after a protracted Yankee education at Exeter and Yale, joins his father's firm in the cotton trade, takes up lodgings on Burgundy Street at the edge of the French Quarter and hangs out at places the mere mention of which sends shivers of pleasure down my spine."
Reminiscent of This Boy’s Life, Peter Wolf’s true saga of family burden and escaping the ties that bind takes us from the South to New England and to Paris and back. From growing up Jewish in a wealthy New Orleans family led a cold military father, to later life as a successful author and architect, Peter Wolf tells a story of love and sacrifice, of having to leave your roots to discover them. Set against the events of the Fifties to the present, My New Orleans is as rich in cultural history as it is in individuality.
“I adore this book and read it in a kind of dreamy fog, unable to put it down and think of anything else. It strikes just the perfect note for a New Orleans memoir, smart and graceful, with the affectionate heart of a native son and the clear eyes and keen intelligence of a scholar of cities. And it’s a very brave book, coming from a man who’s struggled and taken risks for his passions. What a lovely way Peter Wolf has found to reconcile his past and present selves!”
“My New Orleans, Gone Away is the pitch perfect reminiscence of what it feels like to grow up southern and Jewish at the same time. I would recommend it to anybody.”
“I loved it. It brings back great memories.”
“Peter Wolf’s My New Orleans, Gone Away is the triumph of a memoirist with the eye of an architect and the heart of a poet. With admiration, and occasionally, awe, I shared the development of his feelings and taste. This may very well be a modest classic of that enchanted city’s art, culture, lifestyle and vanishing monuments.”
“My New Orleans: Gone Away, you realize where it all comes from, and how powerfully the aura of New Orleans has influenced everything he has done. Wolf's story is personal and intimate, yet addresses something that matters to every one of us: the compelling theme of home, and how all of us are shaped by it.”
“A heartfelt, intimate, and painfully honest account of the coming of age of one shy boy and of the exotic city he left behind, but will never forget. A story of the courage of breaking away and the "you are there" descriptions of places and people that make the reader part of this narrative of struggle and triumph.”
“Peter Wolf’s book is a charming, insightful memoir, which is beautifully written and descriptive of what it was like to grow up Jewish in New Orleans in the mid-20th century. Peter’s journey is worth reading for those who enjoy memoirs steeped with interesting people, places and experiences.”
“Wolf’s fascinating memoir illustrates how the familiar becomes exotic when one is away from it for long periods of time. He captures the city’s unique brand of provinciality and the entwined strands of family connections that link him to both the place and its ethos.”
“Wolf's journey from inhibited child to dream-chaser is beautifully told, full of love for New Orleans, tradition, and family, all trumped by the angst-filled awakening that led him forward.”
“A noted urban policy expert and architectural historian, Wolf offers a loving and beautifully written portrait of New Orleans in the 1950s and 1960s as well as beautifully rendered memories of New Haven, New York, and Paris in this journey of self-discovery and tribute to his roots.”