The bare facts suggest the author's family was a textbook case of African-American dysfunctionalism: his parents divorced in 1954 after three years and five children; two of his brothers were in trouble with the law; and two of his sisters had illegitimate children. But they emerge as flesh-and-blood individuals in Haygood's moving narrative, which chronicles his flight away from poverty in Columbus, Ohio, toward college and a career in journalism, even as it acknowledges unbreakable links to kin and the past. The unadorned prose seethes with emotion that is all the more powerful for being suppressed.
From Library Journal
Boston Globe reporter Haygood (King of Cats, LJ 3/1/93) lucidly constructs an insightful family memoir through three generations. His grandparents left Alabama in the 1940s for Columbus, Ohio, because "they just couldn't see opportunity in the South for their children." Later, they were joined by five of Haygood's grand-uncles. Offering both humorous and serious anecdotes as well as historical background and poignant personal reflections, Haygood recounts his life in the absence of a father and his quest to become an actor and then a writer. His work forms an important contribution to our understanding of the extended family life of African Americans. Fluidly and honestly written, this memoir is highly recommended for academic and public libraries, especially for students of African American studies.?Edward G. McCormack, Univ. of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, Long Beach
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