I read a lot of autobiographies, but seldom does it occur to me to consider what a feat of memory and bravery it is to get down a rich portrait of one's life. Mary Childers does an admirable job of recalling her impoverished childhood and adolescence in the Bronx, and is pretty out there about what she endured, including her own shaming behaviors. I wonder if her telling the story in the present tense helped her with that? It kind of confused me, so I wish that even if the device helped her memory, that she'd switched it to past tense after the first draft.
He had always been a cruel and violent drunk, but when he dangled Lacey out of a window because she wasn't his kid, Mom ditched him. At least that's what she tells us. I'm glad to have a standard for where to draw the line on the kind of abuse to take from men. p.17
I wish my social studies teacher would verify what the old Irish guy told me and Paula about these crowded hills belonging to the Appalachian Mountains. But during the geography unit we only memorized and pierced with pushpins the map locations of natural resources and capitals in Africa, Asia and Central and South America, as if preparing for lifetimes of exile or plunder. p.127