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Memorial Drive By Natasha Trethewey

Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey

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Memorial Drive Summary

Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir by Natasha Trethewey

ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S BEST BOOKS OF 2020 SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2021 CARNEGIE MEDAL IN NON-FICTION 'The work of a poet. A great poet' Financial Times 'A must-read classic' Mary Karr 'Trethewey writes elegantly, trenchantly, intimately as well about the fraught history of the south and what it means live at the intersection of America's struggle between blackness and whiteness. And what, in our troubled republic, is a subject more evergreen?' Mitchell S. Jackson Natasha Trethewey was born in Mississippi in the 60s to a black mother and a white father. When she was six, Natasha's parents divorced, and she and her mother moved to Atlanta. There, her mother met the man who would become her second husband, and Natasha's stepfather. While she was still a child, Natasha decided that she would not tell her mother about what her stepfather did when she was not there: the quiet bullying and control, the games of cat and mouse. Her mother kept her own secrets, secrets that grew harder to hide as Natasha came of age. When Natasha was nineteen and away at college, her stepfather shot her mother dead on the driveway outside their home. With penetrating insight and a searing voice that moves from the wrenching to the elegiac, Memorial Drive is a compelling and searching look at a shared human experience of sudden loss and absence, and a piercing glimpse at the enduring ripple effects of white racism and domestic abuse. Luminous, urgent, and visceral, it cements Trethewey's position as one of the most important voices in America today.

Memorial Drive Reviews

Natasha Trethewey has crafted an indelible memorial to her mother with Memorial Drive, sentence by crystalline sentence ... A journey through searing personal grief, its scope is broadened by sharp insights into domestic abuse and racism, and through a keen exploration of the transformative power of storytelling ... This is spare, spellbinding storytelling, and even though institutional indifference helps make its tragic denouement inevitable, it's as gripping as any thriller * Mail on Sunday *
Stirring ... Trethewey was just nineteen years old when her former stepfather killed her mother in a fit of horrific rage. In Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir, Trethewey steps back from this moment to unveil all that came before it, combing through her mother's history in lush and vivid prose * Time, 100 Must Read Books of 2020 *
At the center of Trethewey's memoir is the wrenching story of her mother's murder, by her ex-husband, in 1985. But this haunting elegy by the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet is also a work of great beauty and tenderness, an atmospheric evocation of innocence and loss * New York Times, 100 Notable Books of 2020 *
One of the most beautiful memoirs I have ever read ... A masterpiece ... A writer whom I admire with all my being -- Elizabeth Gilbert
I've not read an American memoir where more happens in the assemblage of language ... Memorial Drive forces the reader to think about how the sublime Southern conjurers of words, spaces, sounds and patterns protect themselves from trauma when trauma may be, in part, what nudged them down the dusty road to poetic mastery ...The more virtuosic our ability to use language to probe, the harder it becomes to protect ourselves from the secrets buried in our - and our nation's - marrow. This is the conundrum and the blessing of the poet. This is the conundrum and blessing of Memorial Drive -- Dwight Garner * New York Times *
There are moments when you pull yourself away from this work simply to admire its sheer artistry ... Trethewey's masterpiece suggests that the greatest act of defiance a black person can do is to remember * Financial Times *
Emotionally charged and exquisitely written, Memorial Drive is an unforgettable tribute to Trethewey's mother, and a poignant portrait of her self-realisation as a writer * Tatler *
Beautifully poetic but heartbreakingly sad ... An intense, gut-wrenching act of remembrance * Sunday Express *
Powerful * The Times *
Powerful ... It's such a beautiful book to read, I can't tell you ... The timing of this book gives it a very powerful resonance * Front Row, BBC Radio 4 *
Natasha Trethewey has composed a riveting memoir that reads like a detective story about her mother's murder by a malevolent ex-husband. It reads with all the poise and clarity of Trethewey's unforgettable poetry - heartrending without a trace of pathos, wise and smart at once, unforgettable. The short section her mother penned as she was trying to escape the marriage moved me to tears. I read the book in one gulp and expect to reread it more than once. A must-read classic -- Mary Karr
She brings tenderness, compassion, and forensic attention to language * BBC *
A searing, moving memoir * Net-A-Porter, 12 Moving memoirs you should add to your reading list *
Natasha Trethewey's memoir is predicated on a brutal act, but there is nothing sensational about the way it reads. This memoir-cum-true-crime story from the two-time Poet Laureate and Pulitzer winner is a narrative about how her mother was murdered by her ex-stepfather, but it is also a coming-of-age story for a young artist ... This book may have been written by one of our most celebrated poets, but its lyricism is tethered to the author's lived and deeply felt experience. * Vogue, The 22 Best Books to Read in Summer 2020 *
In Memorial Drive, Natasha Trethewey has transformed unimaginable tragedy into a work of sublimity. There's sorrow and heartbreak, yes, but also a beautiful portrait of a mother and her daughter's enduring love. Trethewey writes elegantly, trenchantly, intimately as well about the fraught history of the south and what it means live at the intersection of America's struggle between blackness and whiteness. And what, in our troubled republic, is a subject more evergreen? -- Mitchell S. Jackson
Haunting, powerful, and painfully stunning, Memorial Drive is one of the best memoirs I've read in a long time. A brilliant storyteller, Trethewey writes the unimaginable truth with a clear-eyed courage that proves, once again, that she's one of the nation's best writers -- Ada Limon, author of Bright Dead Things and NBCC award-winner The Carrying
A story that burrows deep in your emotional centre ...The work enraptures like a thriller, unraveling as it races against the inevitable * Esquire *
A moving, poignant reflection on grief * Buzzfeed *
A tragic tale, told with clarity and shattering insight * BBC *
Natasha Trethewey's forthcoming memoir Memorial Drive just bowled me over. Is it the best true crime memoir I've read? It's certainly in my upper echelon now -- Sarah Weinman
Her exquisite and brutal lyricism as well as her commitment to truth makes Trethewey one of the most important American poets of our time ... A tremendously empathic and enthusiastic force in our nation's bleak period. Her words settle with profound gravity * Paris Review *
A glorious example of what results when one listens - and writes - brilliantly ... Her work is loved because she refuses to forget those who've been lost and the struggles of those who remain * Washington Post *
Trethewey has an insistent intellect and a gift for turning over rich soil * New York Times *
Impassioned but clear-eyed ... She is poised to build a powerful legacy ... We can look forward to the fresh direction that Trethewey's compass will, inevitably, point us * New Yorker *
What a devastating story she has to tell; if it is at all like her Pulitzer Prize-winning poems, it will lift and mourn and make you think at the same time * Literary Hub *
She reveals how keenly all of us are shaped by loss, and how much America, too, has been forged by the ever-present shard of grief * O Magazine *
This is a black woman who has committed an entire life and career to holding a country accountable, despite the weight of her own grief * Buzzfeed *
The wide scope of her interests and her adept handling of form have created an opus of classics both elegant and necessary -- Marilyn Nelson, 2016 Academy of American Poets Fellowship judge
A marker in America's conversation on race and gender ... A must-read for people interested in where America has been, where it's headed, and how to traverse the crossroads of the country's literature while also perhaps saving their soul at the beginning of this turbulent century -- Tyehimba Jess, Poetry Foundation

About Natasha Trethewey

Natasha Trethewey is a former US poet laureate and the author of five collections of poetry as well as a book of creative non-fiction. She is currently the Board of Trustees Professor of English at Northwestern University. In 2007, she won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her collection Native Guard. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study Center, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. She lives in Illinois. @NTrethewey

Additional information

Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir by Natasha Trethewey
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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