Memorial Drive

Memorial Drive

A Daughter's Memoir

Large Print - 2020
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At nineteen Trethewey's 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. Here she explores the way this experience lastingly shaped the artist she became. 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. -- provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper Large Print, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2020]
Edition: First Harper Large Print edition.
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9780063076709
0063076705
Branch Call Number: [LP] B/TRETHEWEY
Characteristics: 220 pages (large print) ; 22 cm
large print

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y
yvettedun
Nov 16, 2020

Emotionally tough read but very important subject. Flows really nicely. Finished in a few days.

b
booknrrd
Sep 27, 2020

Former US poet laureate Natasha Trethewey's moving memoir about her mother's murder at the hands of her former stepfather and her life up that point. It is a treatise on trauma and its effect on a family and the spirit and an account of domestic abuse and what is hidden. As a poet, she is capable of creating indelible images with her words at times. Here she is describing playing back her mother's voice on the answering machine after the murder: "The length of tape that held her voice had been as tenuous as the faith that held Orpheus and Eurydice together as he tried to lead her out of the underworld. In my impatience, I had severed it."

debwalker Sep 22, 2020

When your mother was murdered....

m
Memarge
Sep 18, 2020

What a great read but sad story!

c
Candaceb108
Sep 07, 2020

Others have expounded. I will simply urge you to read this book.

k
krsbozo
Aug 29, 2020

A searing memorial to a mother by a Poet Laureate. It's beautifully written, as you'd expect of such an accomplished writer, full of dreams, the meaning of metaphors, and memories, many of them brutal. Trethewey also includes the transcripts of two final conversations between her mother and her step-father just days before he murdered her mother. That's difficult reading, really is. It's amazing to me that Natasha Trethewey doesn't seethe with anger at the police whose incompetence allowed this murder to happen. Also, no anger toward her mother, which is more understandable I guess. But so little anger expressed.

w
winston16
Aug 28, 2020

A daughter's powerful account as she looks back on the murder of her mother by her mother's husband (not the author's father). That the daughter is an acclaimed poet accounts for the almost dreamlike approach to the nightmare she is recalling, but the horror of what her mother endured during the years she suffered from domestic abuse comes across in the starkest terms. A beautifully written book about a terrible and haunting reality and memory.

CALS_Shelby Aug 21, 2020

I have loved Natasha Trethewey’s poetry since a professor pressed Domestic Work into my hands in early 2016. That same attention to detail and sense of a line that take her poems from “good” to “great” is evident in her prose. Described by Trethewey herself as a “companion” to her 2018 retrospective Monument, Memorial Drive is an exploration of and reckoning with grief, specifically, the grief Trethewey has lived with since her stepfather murdered her mother in June of 1985.

There’s a lot to love in this memoir. The story opens with an extended section titled “Another Country,” which deftly moves through Trethewey’s early childhood memories. Fans of her poetry will recognize echoes from Domestic Work here — poems like “Cameo,” “Hot Combs,” and “Family Portrait,” especially, but also “At the Owl Club…,” “Flounder,” and “Gathering,” too.

From here the narrative becomes decidedly more fragmentary, mirroring the trauma and texture of grief. I love the interstitial pieces best, all of them titled [ ]. I began to think of them as caesuras -- a poetic term for a pause near the middle of a line, or, more broadly, any interruption or break. These interludes, along with the varied length of each chapter, mimic the disorientation and stop-and-start nature of grief.

Trethewey, as I’ve come to expect, is a beautifully skilled writer. I underlined, circled, and tick-marked so many lines in this short (212-page) book. It’s the kind of book that lends itself to rereads — like all of Trethewey’s books. I’ll return to it many times, for sure.

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