An Instant New York Times Bestseller A chillingly personal and exquisitely wrought memoir of a daughter reckoning with the brutal murder of her mother at the hands of her former stepfather, and the moving, intimate story of a poet coming into her own in the wake of a tragedy At age nineteen, Natasha Trethewey had her world turned upside down when her former stepfather shot and killed her mother. Grieving and still new to adulthood, she confronted the twin pulls of life and death in the aftermath of unimaginable trauma and now explores the way this experience lastingly shaped the artist she became. With penetrating insight and a searing voice that moves from the wrenching to the elegiac, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Natasha Trethewey explores this profound experience of pain, loss, and grief as an entry point into understanding the tragic course of her mother’s life and the way her own life has been shaped by a legacy of fierce love and resilience. Moving through her mother’s history in the deeply segregated South and through her own girlhood as a “child of miscegenation” in Mississippi, Trethewey plumbs her sense of dislocation and displacement in the lead-up to the harrowing crime that took place on Memorial Drive in Atlanta in 1985. Memorial Drive is a compelling and searching look at a shared human experience of sudden loss and absence but also a piercing glimpse at the enduring ripple effects of white racism and domestic abuse. Animated by unforgettable prose and inflected by a poet’s attention to language, this is a luminous, urgent, and visceral memoir from one of our most important contemporary writers and thinkers.

Author ,
Isbn 0062248596
Genre Biography & Autobiography
Year 2020-07-28
Pages 224
Language English
File format PDF

“[Trethewey’s poems] dig beneath the surface of history—personal or communal, from childhood or from a century ago—to explore the human struggles that we all face.” —James H. Billington, 13th Librarian of Congress Layering joy and urgent defiance—against physical and cultural erasure, against white supremacy whether intangible or graven in stone—Trethewey’s work gives pedestal and witness to unsung icons. Monument, Trethewey’s first retrospective, draws together verse that delineates the stories of working class African American women, a mixed-race prostitute, one of the first black Civil War regiments, mestizo and mulatto figures in Casta paintings, Gulf coast victims of Katrina. Through the collection, inlaid and inextricable, winds the poet’s own family history of trauma and loss, resilience and love. In this setting, each section, each poem drawn from an “opus of classics both elegant and necessary,”* weaves and interlocks with those that come before and those that follow. As a whole, Monument casts new light on the trauma of our national wounds, our shared history. This is a poet’s remarkable labor to source evidence, persistence, and strength from the past in order to change the very foundation of the vocabulary we use to speak about race, gender, and our collective future. *Academy of American Poets’ chancellor Marilyn Nelson

Author Natasha Trethewey
Isbn 1328508692
Genre Poetry
Year 2018-11-06
Pages 208
Language English
File format PDF

*LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD FINALIST* "Fresh, funny, bittersweet...This book delivers humor, humanity and hubris."--New York Times Book Review Named an NPR, Marie Claire, and Teen Vogue best book of the year and a most anticipated book of 2020 by Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Time, People, BuzzFeed, Bustle, and more In the tradition of audacious and wryly funny novels like The Idiot and Convenience Store Woman comes the wildly original coming-of-age story of a pregnant pizza delivery girl who becomes obsessed with one of her customers. Eighteen years old, pregnant, and working as a pizza delivery girl in suburban Los Angeles, our charmingly dysfunctional heroine is deeply lost and in complete denial about it all. She's grieving the death of her father (whom she has more in common with than she'd like to admit), avoiding her supportive mom and loving boyfriend, and flagrantly ignoring her future. Her world is further upended when she becomes obsessed with Jenny, a stay-at-home mother new to the neighborhood, who comes to depend on weekly deliveries of pickled-covered pizzas for her son's happiness. As one woman looks toward motherhood and the other toward middle age, the relationship between the two begins to blur in strange, complicated, and ultimately heartbreaking ways. Bold, tender, propulsive, and unexpected in countless ways, Jean Kyoung Frazier's Pizza Girl is a moving and funny portrait of a flawed, unforgettable young woman as she tries to find her place in the world.

Author Jean Kyoung Frazier
Isbn 0385545738
Genre Fiction
Year 2020-06-09
Pages 208
Language English
File format PDF

Included in this audio-enhanced edition are recordings of the U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey reading Native Guard in its entirety, as well as an interview with the poet from the HMH podcast The Poetic Voice, in which she recounts what it was like to grow up in the South as the daughter of a white father and a black mother and describes other influences that inspired the work. Experience this Pulitzer Prize–winning collection in an engaging new way. Growing up in the Deep South, Natasha Trethewey was never told that in her hometown of Gulfport, Mississippi, black soldiers had played a pivotal role in the Civil War. Off the coast, on Ship Island, stood a fort that had once been a Union prison housing Confederate captives. Protecting the fort was the second regiment of the Louisiana Native Guards -- one of the Union's first official black units. Trethewey's new book of poems pays homage to the soldiers who served and whose voices have echoed through her own life. The title poem imagines the life of a former slave stationed at the fort, who is charged with writing letters home for the illiterate or invalid POWs and his fellow soldiers. Just as he becomes the guard of Ship Island's memory, so Trethewey recalls her own childhood as the daughter of a black woman and a white man. Her parents' marriage was still illegal in 1966 Mississippi. The racial legacy of the Civil War echoes through elegiac poems that honor her own mother and the forgotten history of her native South. Native Guard is haunted by the intersection of national and personal experience.

Author Natasha Trethewey
Isbn 0547526261
Genre Poetry
Year 2012-08-28
Pages 64
Language English
File format PDF

Imagine an eighteen-year-old American girl who has never read a newspaper, watched television, or made a phone call. An eighteen-year-old-girl who has never danced—and this in the 1960s. It is in Cambridge, Massachusetts where Leonard Feeney, a controversial (soon to be excommunicated) Catholic priest, has founded a religious community called the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Center's members—many of them educated at Harvard and Radcliffe—surrender all earthly possessions and aspects of their life, including their children, to him. Patricia Chadwick was one of those children, and Little Sister is her account of growing up in the Feeney sect. Separated from her parents and forbidden to speak to them, Patricia bristles against the community’s draconian rules, yearning for another life. When, at seventeen, she is banished from the Center, her home, she faces the world alone, without skills, family, or money but empowered with faith and a fierce determination to succeed on her own, which she does, rising eventually to the upper echelons of the world of finance and investing. A tale of resilience and grace, Little Sister chronicles, in riveting prose, a surreal childhood and does so without rancor or self-pity.

Author Patricia Walsh Chadwick
Isbn 1682617831
Genre Biography & Autobiography
Year 2019-04-02
Pages 304
Language English
File format PDF

Christine Hartmann's mother valued control above all else, yet one event appeared beyond her command: the timing of her own death. Not to be denied there either, two decades in advance Irmgard Hartmann chose the date on which to end her life. And her next step was to tell her daughter all about it. For twenty years, Irmgard maintained an unwavering goal, to commit suicide at age seventy. She managed her chronic hypertension, stayed healthy and active, and lived life to the fullest. Meanwhile, Christine fought desperately against the decision. When Irmgard wouldn't listen, the only way to remain part of her life was for Christine to swallow her mother's plans--hook, line, and sinker. Christine's father, as it turned out, prepared too slowly for old age. Before he had made any decision, fate disabled him through a series of strokes. Confined to a nursing home, severely impaired by dementia and frustrated by his circumstances, his life epitomized the predicament her mother wanted to avoid. So Far Away gives us an intimate view of a person interacting with and reacting to her parents at the ends of their lives. In a richly detailed, poignant story of family members' separate yet interwoven journeys, it underscores the complexities and opportunities that life presents each one of us.

Author Christine W. Hartmann
Isbn 0826517978
Genre Social Science
Year 2011-11-15
Pages 224
Language English
File format PDF

ONE OF TIME’S 100 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR ONE OF NPR’S BEST BOOKS OF 2019 ONE OF BUZZFEED’S BEST BOOKS OF 2019 An electrifying, dazzlingly written reckoning and an essential addition to the national conversation about race and class, Survival Math takes its name from the calculations award-winning author Mitchell S. Jackson made to survive the Portland, Oregon of his youth. This dynamic book explores gangs and guns, near-death experiences, sex work, masculinity, composite fathers, the concept of “hustle,” and the destructive power of addiction—all framed within the story of Jackson, his family, and his community. Lauded for its breathtaking pace, its tender portrayals, its stark candor, and its luminous style, Survival Math reveals on every page the searching intellect and originality of its author. The primary narrative, focused on understanding the antecedents of Jackson’s family’s experience, is complemented by poems composed from historical American documents as well as survivor files, which feature photographs and riveting short narratives of several of Jackson’s male relatives. The sum of Survival Math’s parts is a highly original whole, one that reflects on the exigencies—over generations—that have shaped the lives of so many disenfranchised Americans. As essential as it is beautiful, as real as it is artful, Mitchell S. Jackson’s nonfiction debut is a singular achievement, not to be missed.

Author Mitchell Jackson
Isbn 1501131745
Genre Biography & Autobiography
Year 2019-03-05
Pages 336
Language English
File format PDF

Intended for general readers and for students and scholars of poetry, Poetry as Survival is a complex and lucid analysis of the powerful role poetry can play in confronting, surviving, and transcending pain and suffering. Gregory Orr draws from a generous array of sources. He weaves discussions of work by Keats, Dickinson, and Whitman with quotes from three-thousand-year-old Egyptian poems, Inuit songs, and Japanese love poems to show that writing personal lyric has helped poets throughout history to process emotional and experiential turmoil, from individual stress to collective grief. More specifically, he considers how the acts of writing, reading, and listening to lyric bring ordering powers to the chaos that surrounds us. Moving into more contemporary work, Orr looks at the poetry of Sylvia Plath, Stanley Kunitz, and Theodore Roethke, poets who relied on their own work to get through painful psychological experiences. As a poet who has experienced considerable trauma--especially as a child--Orr refers to the damaging experiences of his past and to the role poetry played in his ability to recover and survive. His personal narrative makes all the more poignant and vivid Orr's claims for lyric poetry's power as a tool for healing. Poetry as Survival is a memorable and inspiring introduction to lyric poetry's capacity to help us find safety and comfort in a threatening world.

Author Gregory Orr
Isbn 0820340111
Genre Literary Criticism
Year 2010-12-01
Pages 242
Language English
File format PDF

Following his acclaimed New York Times bestseller Did You Ever Have a Family, Bill Clegg returns with a “delicate, deeply observed, and deftly crafted” (Nickolas Butler, author of Shotgun Lovesongs) second novel about the complicated bonds and breaking points of friendship, the corrosive forces of secrets, the heartbeat of longing, and the redemption found in forgiveness. A retired widow in rural Connecticut wakes to an unexpected visit from her childhood best friend whom she hasn’t seen in forty-nine years. A man arrives at a Pennsylvania hotel to introduce his estranged father to his newborn daughter and finds him collapsed on the floor of the lobby. A sixty-seven-year-old taxi driver in Kauai receives a phone call from the mainland that jars her back to a traumatic past. These seemingly disconnected lives come together as half-century-old secrets begin to surface. It is in this moment that Bill Clegg reminds us how choices—to connect, to betray, to protect—become our legacy. “Written in lyrical, beautiful prose that makes even waking up seem like a poetic event” (Good Morning America), this novel is a feat of storytelling, capturing sixty years within the framework of one fateful day.

Author Bill Clegg
Isbn 1476798222
Genre Fiction
Year 2020-09-29
Pages 320
Language English
File format PDF

This dual biography of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King upends longstanding preconceptions to transform our understanding of the twentieth century's most iconic African American leaders. To most Americans, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. represent contrasting ideals: self-defense vs. nonviolence, black power vs. civil rights, the sword vs. the shield. The struggle for black freedom is wrought with the same contrasts. While nonviolent direct action is remembered as an unassailable part of American democracy, the movement's militancy is either vilified or erased outright. In The Sword and the Shield, Peniel E. Joseph upends these misconceptions and reveals a nuanced portrait of two men who, despite markedly different backgrounds, inspired and pushed each other throughout their adult lives. This is a strikingly revisionist biography, not only of Malcolm and Martin, but also of the movement and era they came to define.

Author Peniel E. Joseph
Isbn 1541617851
Genre Biography & Autobiography
Year 2020-03-31
Pages 384
Language English
File format PDF

“Courageous, achingly honest." —Michelle Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness “A compelling, incisive and thoughtful examination of race, origin and what it means to be called an American. Engaging, heartfelt and beautifully written, Lythcott-Haims explores the American spectrum of identity with refreshing courage and compassion.” —Bryan Stevenson, New York Times bestselling author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption A fearless memoir in which beloved and bestselling How to Raise an Adult author Julie Lythcott-Haims pulls no punches in her recollections of growing up a black woman in America. Bringing a poetic sensibility to her prose to stunning effect, Lythcott-Haims briskly and stirringly evokes her personal battle with the low self-esteem that American racism routinely inflicts on people of color. The only child of a marriage between an African-American father and a white British mother, she shows indelibly how so-called "micro" aggressions in addition to blunt force insults can puncture a person's inner life with a thousand sharp cuts. Real American expresses also, through Lythcott-Haims’s path to self-acceptance, the healing power of community in overcoming the hurtful isolation of being incessantly considered "the other." The author of the New York Times bestselling anti-helicopter parenting manifesto How to Raise an Adult, Lythcott-Haims has written a different sort of book this time out, but one that will nevertheless resonate with the legions of students, educators and parents to whom she is now well known, by whom she is beloved, and to whom she has always provided wise and necessary counsel about how to embrace and nurture their best selves. Real American is an affecting memoir, an unforgettable cri de coeur, and a clarion call to all of us to live more wisely, generously and fully.

Author Julie Lythcott-Haims
Isbn 1250137756
Genre Biography & Autobiography
Year 2017-10-03
Pages 192
Language English
File format PDF

"The Officer’s Daughter is a masterpiece. More than that, it's the perfect book for our troubled time. Johnson has written the deepest, most emotionally resonant understanding of forgiveness and justice I have ever read."—Darin Strauss, bestselling author of Half a Life The author reflects on a terrible tragedy that forever altered the fabric of her family in this remarkable memoir, a heart-wrenching story of love, violence, coming of age, secrets, justice, and forgiveness. When she was sixteen, Elle Johnson lived in Queens with her family; she dreamed of being best friends with her popular, cool cousin Karen from the Bronx. Coming from a family of black law enforcement officers, Elle felt that Karen would understand her in a way no one else could. Elle’s father was a highly protective, at times overbearing, parole officer; her uncle, Karen’s dad, was a homicide detective. On an ordinary night, the Johnson family’s lives were changed forever. Karen was shot and killed in a robbery gone wrong at the Burger King where she worked. The NYPD and FBI launched a cross-country manhunt to find the killers, and the subsequent trials and media circus marked the end of Elle's childhood innocence. Thirty years later, Elle was living in Los Angeles and working as a television writer, including on many police procedural shows, when she received an unexpected request. One of Karen’s killers was eligible for parole, and her older brother asked Elle to write a letter to the parole board arguing against his release. Elle realized that before she could condemn a man she’d never met to remain in prison, she had to face the hard truths of her own past: of a family who didn’t speak of the murder and its devastating effect, of the secrets they buried, of a complicated father she never truly understood. The Officer's Daughter is a piercing memoir that explores with unflinching honesty what parents can and cannot do to protect their children, the reverberations of violence on survivors’ lives, and the overwhelming power of forgiveness, even in the face of unspeakable tragedy.

Author Elle Johnson
Isbn 0063011344
Genre True Crime
Year 2021-02-16
Pages 224
Language English
File format PDF

Award-winning novelist and poet Gayle Brandeis’s wrenching memoir of her complicated family history and her mother’s suicide Gayle Brandeis’s mother disappeared just after Gayle gave birth to her youngest child. Several days later, her body was found: she had hanged herself in the utility closet of a Pasadena parking garage. In this searing, formally inventive memoir, Gayle describes the dissonance between being a new mother, a sweet-smelling infant at her chest, and a grieving daughter trying to piece together what happened, who her mother was, and all she had and hadn’t understood about her. Around the time of her suicide, Gayle’s mother had been working on a documentary about the rare illnesses she thought ravaged her family: porphyria and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. In The Art of Misdiagnosis, taking its title from her mother’s documentary, Gayle braids together her own narration of the charged weeks surrounding her mother’s suicide, transcripts of her mother’s documentary, research into delusional and factitious disorders, and Gayle’s own experience with misdiagnosis and illness (both fabricated and real). Slowly and expertly, The Art of Misdiagnosis peels back the complicated layers of deception and complicity, of physical and mental illness in Gayle’s family, to show how she and her mother had misdiagnosed one another. Gayle’s memoir is both a compelling search into the mystery of one’s own family and a life-affirming story of the relief discovered through breaking familial and personal silences. Written by a gifted stylist, The Art of Misdiagnosis delves into the tangled mysteries of disease, mental illness, and suicide and comes out the other side with grace.

Author Gayle Brandeis
Isbn 0807044903
Genre Biography & Autobiography
Year 2017-11-14
Pages 264
Language English
File format PDF

A New York Times Bestseller A New York Times Notable Book “Riveting, heartbreaking, sometimes difficult, always inspiring.” —The New York Times Book Review As seen/heard on Fresh Air, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, Weekend Edition, and more An emergency room physician explores how a life of service to others taught her how to heal herself. Michele Harper is a female, African American emergency room physician in a profession that is overwhelmingly male and white. Brought up in Washington, D.C., in a complicated family, she went to Harvard, where she met her husband. They stayed together through medical school until two months before she was scheduled to join the staff of a hospital in central Philadelphia, when he told her he couldn’t move with her. Her marriage at an end, Harper began her new life in a new city, in a new job, as a newly single woman. In the ensuing years, as Harper learned to become an effective ER physician, bringing insight and empathy to every patient encounter, she came to understand that each of us is broken—physically, emotionally, psychically. How we recognize those breaks, how we try to mend them, and where we go from there are all crucial parts of the healing process. The Beauty in Breaking is the poignant true story of Harper’s journey toward self-healing. Each of the patients Harper writes about taught her something important about recuperation and recovery. How to let go of fear even when the future is murky: How to tell the truth when it’s simpler to overlook it. How to understand that compassion isn’t the same as justice. As she shines a light on the systemic disenfranchisement of the patients she treats as they struggle to maintain their health and dignity, Harper comes to understand the importance of allowing ourselves to make peace with the past as we draw support from the present. In this hopeful, moving, and beautiful book, she passes along the precious, necessary lessons that she has learned as a daughter, a woman, and a physician.

Author Michele Harper
Isbn 0525537406
Genre Biography & Autobiography
Year 2020-07-07
Pages 304
Language English
File format PDF

NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2020! NPR BEST BOOK OF 2020 PEOPLE MAGAZINE TOP TEN BOOKS OF THE YEAR BOOKPAGE BEST BOOK OF 2020 GOOD HOUSEKEEPING BEST BOOK OF 2020 “A sensual and perceptive novel. . . . With humor and humanity, Miller resists the simple scorned-wife story and instead crafts a revelatory tale of the complexities—and the absurdities—of love, infidelity, and grief.” —O, the Oprah Magazine A brilliantly insightful novel, engrossing and haunting, about marriage, love, family, happiness and sorrow, from New York Times bestselling author Sue Miller. Graham and Annie have been married for nearly thirty years. Their seemingly effortless devotion has long been the envy of their circle of friends and acquaintances. By all appearances, they are a golden couple. Graham is a bookseller, a big, gregarious man with large appetites—curious, eager to please, a lover of life, and the convivial host of frequent, lively parties at his and Annie’s comfortable house in Cambridge. Annie, more reserved and introspective, is a photographer. She is about to have her first gallery show after a six-year lull and is worried that the best years of her career may be behind her. They have two adult children; Lucas, Graham’s son with his first wife, Frieda, works in New York. Annie and Graham’s daughter, Sarah, lives in San Francisco. Though Frieda is an integral part of this far-flung, loving family, Annie feels confident in the knowledge that she is Graham’s last and greatest love. When Graham suddenly dies—this man whose enormous presence has seemed to dominate their lives together—Annie is lost. What is the point of going on, she wonders, without him? Then, while she is still mourning Graham intensely, she discovers a ruinous secret, one that will spiral her into darkness and force her to question whether she ever truly knew the man who loved her.

Author Sue Miller
Isbn 0062969676
Genre Fiction
Year 2020-09-08
Pages 352
Language English
File format PDF

19th Poet Laureate of the United States “A powerful, beautifully crafted book.”—The Washington Post “Ripe with the perfidies and paradoxes of thralldom both personal and public, it is utterly elegant.”—Elle Charting the intersections of public and personal history, Thrall explores the historical, cultural, and social forces that determine the roles to which a mixed-race daughter and her white father are consigned. In a brilliant series of poems about the taxonomies of mixed unions, Natasha Trethewey creates a fluent and vivid backdrop to her own familial predicament. While tropes about captivity, bondage, knowledge, and enthrallment permeate the collection, Trethewey unflinchingly examines our shared past by reflecting on her history of small estrangements and by confronting the complexities of race and the deeply ingrained and unexamined notions of racial difference in America. “Natasha Trethewey’s Thrall is simply the finest work of her already distinguished career . . . Rarely has any poetic intersection of cultural and personal histories felt more inevitable, more painful, or profound.” —David St. John, author of The Face: A Novella in Verse “A voice that not only expands the position of [poetry], but helps us better understand ourselves. Her poems tell stories of loss and reckoning, both personal and historical.” —Dr. James Billington, Librarian of Congress

Author Natasha Trethewey
Isbn 054784042X
Genre Poetry
Year 2012-08-28
Pages 96
Language English
File format PDF

A moving, darkly funny novel about six teens whose magic goes wildly awry from Magic for Liars author Sarah Gailey, who Chuck Wendig calls an “author to watch.” Keeping your magic a secret is hard. Being in love with your best friend is harder. Alexis has always been able to rely on two things: her best friends, and the magic powers they all share. Their secret is what brought them together, and their love for each other is unshakeable—even when that love is complicated. Complicated by problems like jealousy, or insecurity, or lust. Or love. That unshakeable, complicated love is one of the only things that doesn't change on prom night. When accidental magic goes sideways and a boy winds up dead, Alexis and her friends come together to try to right a terrible wrong. Their first attempt fails—and their second attempt fails even harder. Left with the remains of their failed spells and more consequences than anyone could have predicted, each of them must find a way to live with their part of the story.

Author Sarah Gailey
Isbn 1534432892
Genre Young Adult Fiction
Year 2020-03-03
Pages 352
Language English
File format PDF

**THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER** “A Gen-X This Boy’s Life...Music and his fierce brilliance boost Jollett; a visceral urge to leave his background behind propels him to excel... In the end, Jollett shakes off the past to become the captain of his own soul. Hollywood Park is a triumph." —O, The Oprah Magazine "This moving and profound memoir is for anyone who loves a good redemption story." —Good Morning America, 20 Books We're Excited for in 2020 "Several years ago, Jollett began writing Hollywood Park, the gripping and brutally honest memoir of his life. Published in the middle of the pandemic, it has gone on to become one of the summer’s most celebrated books and a New York Times best seller..." –Los Angeles Magazine HOLLYWOOD PARK is a remarkable memoir of a tumultuous life. Mikel Jollett was born into one of the country’s most infamous cults, and subjected to a childhood filled with poverty, addiction, and emotional abuse. Yet, ultimately, his is a story of fierce love and family loyalty told in a raw, poetic voice that signals the emergence of a uniquely gifted writer. We were never young. We were just too afraid of ourselves. No one told us who we were or what we were or where all our parents went. They would arrive like ghosts, visiting us for a morning, an afternoon. They would sit with us or walk around the grounds, to laugh or cry or toss us in the air while we screamed. Then they’d disappear again, for weeks, for months, for years, leaving us alone with our memories and dreams, our questions and confusion. ... So begins Hollywood Park, Mikel Jollett’s remarkable memoir. His story opens in an experimental commune in California, which later morphed into the Church of Synanon, one of the country’s most infamous and dangerous cults. Per the leader’s mandate, all children, including Jollett and his older brother, were separated from their parents when they were six months old, and handed over to the cult’s “School.” After spending years in what was essentially an orphanage, Mikel escaped the cult one morning with his mother and older brother. But in many ways, life outside Synanon was even harder and more erratic. In his raw, poetic and powerful voice, Jollett portrays a childhood filled with abject poverty, trauma, emotional abuse, delinquency and the lure of drugs and alcohol. Raised by a clinically depressed mother, tormented by his angry older brother, subjected to the unpredictability of troubled step-fathers and longing for contact with his father, a former heroin addict and ex-con, Jollett slowly, often painfully, builds a life that leads him to Stanford University and, eventually, to finding his voice as a writer and musician. Hollywood Park is told at first through the limited perspective of a child, and then broadens as Jollett begins to understand the world around him. Although Mikel Jollett’s story is filled with heartbreak, it is ultimately an unforgettable portrayal of love at its fiercest and most loyal.

Author Mikel Jollett
Isbn 1250621542
Genre Biography & Autobiography
Year 2020-05-26
Pages 384
Language English
File format PDF

*Named a Best Book of 2018 by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Broadly, Buzzfeed (Nonfiction), The Undefeated, Library Journal (Biography/Memoirs), The Washington Post (Nonfiction), Southern Living (Southern), Entertainment Weekly, and The New York Times Critics* In this powerful, provocative, and universally lauded memoir—winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal and finalist for the Kirkus Prize—genre-bending essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon “provocatively meditates on his trauma growing up as a black man, and in turn crafts an essential polemic against American moral rot” (Entertainment Weekly). In Heavy, Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to time in New York as a college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling. Heavy is a “gorgeous, gutting…generous” (The New York Times) memoir that combines personal stories with piercing intellect to reflect both on the strife of American society and on Laymon’s experiences with abuse. By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, he asks us to confront the terrifying possibility that few in this nation actually know how to responsibly love, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free. “A book for people who appreciated Roxane Gay’s memoir Hunger” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), Heavy is defiant yet vulnerable, an insightful, often comical exploration of weight, identity, art, friendship, and family through years of haunting implosions and long reverberations. “You won’t be able to put [this memoir] down…It is packed with reminders of how black dreams get skewed and deferred, yet are also pregnant with the possibility that a kind of redemption may lie in intimate grappling with black realities” (The Atlantic).

Author Kiese Laymon
Isbn 1501125699
Genre Biography & Autobiography
Year 2018-10-16
Pages 256
Language English
File format PDF

The former Sex & Relationships Editor for Cosmopolitan and host of the wildly popular comedy show Tinder Live with Lane Moore presents her poignant, funny, and deeply moving first book. Lane Moore is a rare performer who is as impressive onstage—whether hosting her iconic show Tinder Live or being the enigmatic front woman of It Was Romance—as she is on the page, as both a former writer for The Onion and an award-winning sex and relationships editor for Cosmopolitan. But her story has had its obstacles, including being her own parent, living in her car as a teenager, and moving to New York City to pursue her dreams. Through it all, she looked to movies, TV, and music as the family and support systems she never had. From spending the holidays alone to having better “stranger luck” than with those closest to her to feeling like the last hopeless romantic on earth, Lane reveals her powerful and entertaining journey in all its candor, anxiety, and ultimate acceptance—with humor always her bolstering force and greatest gift. How to Be Alone is a must-read for anyone whose childhood still feels unresolved, who spends more time pretending to have friends online than feeling close to anyone in real life, who tries to have genuine, deep conversations in a roomful of people who would rather you not. Above all, it’s a book for anyone who desperately wants to feel less alone and a little more connected through reading her words.

Author Lane Moore
Isbn 1501178849
Genre Biography & Autobiography
Year 2018-11-06
Pages 224
Language English
File format PDF