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Decades after Julia McKenzie Munemo’s father committed suicide, she learned that he made his living writing interracial pornography under a pseudonym. She hid the stack of his old paperbacks from her Zimbabwean husband, their mixed-race children, and herself before realizing her obligation to understand her racial legacy.
In a book-length essay on the evolving, improvisatory world of spiritual literature, Thomas Larson surveys authors old and new who have shaped religious autobiography and spiritual memoir. He shows just how the writer’s craft must prevail to capture the fleeting and personal truths of the spirit in an important addition to nonfiction craft studies.
When Deborah Gold and her husband signed up to foster parent in their rural mountain community, they did not foresee that it would lead to a roller-coaster fifteen years of involvement with a traumatized yet resilient birth family. They fell in love with Michael (a toddler when he came to them), yet they had to reckon with the knowledge that he could leave their lives at any time.In Counting Down, Gold tells the story of forging a family within a confounding system.
In this lyrical but controversial memoir of his childhood in a Japanese internment camp for Dutch colonialists during World War II, Lanzing enlivens ongoing discussions of the politics of memory and the powerful—if contentious—contributions that subjective accounts make to historiography and the legacies of the past.
Steve Howard departed for the Sudan in the early 1980s as an American graduate student beginning a three-year journey in which he would join and live with the Republican Brotherhood, the Sufi Muslim group led by the visionary Mahmoud Mohamed Taha. Taha was a religious intellectual who participated in the early days of Sudan’s anticolonial struggle, but quickly turned his movement into a religious reform effort based on his radical reading of the Qur’an. He was executed in 1985 for apostasy.Deca
Judith M. Heimann entered the diplomatic life in 1958 to join her husband, John, in Jakarta, Indonesia, at his American Embassy post. This, her first time out of the United States, would set her on a path across the continents as she mastered the fine points of diplomatic culture. She did so first as a spouse, then as a diplomat herself, thus becoming part of one of the Foreign Service’s first tandem couples.Heimann’s
From the 1960s to the 1990s, seven members of the Quimpo family dedicated themselves to the anti-Marcos resistance in the Philippines, sometimes at profound personal cost. In this unprecedented memoir, eight siblings (plus one by marriage) tell their remarkable stories in individually authored chapters that comprise a family saga of revolution, persistence, and, ultimately, vindication, even as easy resolution eluded their struggles.Subversive
In the decades since the Vietnam War, veteran memoirs have influenced Americans’ understanding of the conflict. Yet few historians or literary scholars have scrutinized how the genre has shaped the nation’s collective memory of the war and its aftermath.
The follow-up to 2012’s Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement brings readers along with Suzi Parron, her new husband, Glen, their dog Gracie, and their converted van Ruby as they leave the stationary life behind. With no permanent home, Suzi and Glen follow the barn quilt trail full time as Suzi collects the stories behind these painted quilt squares that, since the movement began in Ohio in 2001, have appeared on barns in forty-eight states and in two provinces.
Central Asia has long stood at the crossroads of history. It was the staging ground for the armies of the Mongol Empire, for the nineteenth-century struggle between the Russian and British empires, and for the NATO campaign in Afghanistan. Today, multinationals and nations compete for the oil and gas reserves of the Caspian Sea and for control of the pipelines. Yet “Stanland” is still, to many, a terra incognita, a geographical blank.Beginning
Organized around the life histories, medical struggles, and recollections of Otis Trotter and his thirteen siblings, Keeping Heart is a personal account of an African American family’s journey north during the second Great Migration.
During the 1950s, a group of ambitious young African Americans enrolled at Ohio University, a predominantly white school in Athens, Ohio. Years later, eighteen of them decided to share their stories, recalling the joys and challenges of living on a white campus before the civil rights era.
Phu Rieng was one of many French rubber plantations in colonial Vietnam; Tran Tu Binh was one of 17,606 laborers brought to work there in 1927, and his memoir is a straightforward, emotionally searing account of how one Vietnamese youth became involved in revolutionary politics. The connection between this early experience and later activities of the author becomes clear as we learn that Tran Tu Binh survived imprisonment on Con Son island to help engineer the general uprising in Hanoi in 1945.
In a thoughtful, humorous voice born of Appalachian storytelling, Childers brings to life family tales that affected the entire region to make sense of her personal journey and find the joy and clarity that often emerge after the earth shakes terribly beneath us.
“I imagine everyone has a center of gravity,” says Ellen Bromfield Geld. “Something which binds one to the earth and gives sense and direction to what one does.” For Ellen, this center is a writing table before a window that looks out upon groves of pecan trees and mahogany-colored cattle in seas of grass. The place is Fazenda Pau D’Alho, Brazil, where she and her husband, Carson, have lived and farmed since 1961.Healing