Hi! My name is Saher Al Khamash and I’m part of Middlebury’s Class of 2021. I have the pleasure of working in Special Collections as a digital archives research assistant. What I value most about Special Collections is the access to historical and often rare artifacts. We offer to the public the opportunity of taking an intimate look into our past. I think that is such a gift because oftentimes it grants us a fuller picture of our present.
A prominent voice of the Harlem Renaissance, Countee Cullen was an American poet, novelist, playwright and children’s writer.
Cullen’s 1942 children’s book, My Lives and How I Lost Them, features illustrations by Robert Reid Macguire. The book follows Christopher Cat, a cat in his ninth life, as he reminisces about his adventures in his previous eight. Special Collections has a first edition copy.
Christopher Cat dedicates his memoir to fellow feline, Pumpkin Cummings of Old Orchard Beach, Maine and her late, unnamed brother. Through Christopher Cat’s memoir, Cullen conveys the ephemerality of life in a cute and clever way for young readers.