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Memorial Drive

By Natasha Trethewey
Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

An Instant New York Times Bestseller 

A New York Times Notable Book 

One of Barack Obama's Favorite Books of 2020

Named One of the Best Books of the Year by: The Washington Post, NPR, Shelf Awareness, Esquire, Electric Literature, Slate, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and InStyle

A chillingly personal and exquisitely wrought memoir of a daughter reckoning with the brutal murder of her mother at the hands of her former stepfather, and the moving, intimate story of a poet coming into her own in the wake of a tragedy

At age nineteen, Natasha Trethewey had her 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 and now explores the way this experience lastingly shaped the artist she became.

With penetrating insight and a searing voice that moves from the wrenching to the elegiac, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Natasha Trethewey explores this profound experience of pain, loss, and grief as an entry point into understanding the tragic course of her mother’s life and the way her own life has been shaped by a legacy of fierce love and resilience. 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.

Memorial Drive is a compelling and searching look at a shared human experience of sudden loss and absence but also a piercing glimpse at the enduring ripple effects of white racism and domestic abuse. Animated by unforgettable prose and inflected by a poet’s attention to language, this is a luminous, urgent, and visceral memoir from one of our most important contemporary writers and thinkers.

22 Reviews

“This book was heartbreaking in so many ways, but the author is definitely a great storyteller. I’m just sad that this happened to her family. It was an interesting read but also eye opening to so many topics. There are so many layers to this story, I definitely had to sit for a bit after finishing and do some reflection. Not my typical genre but I am glad that I picked it up.”
“can best be described as a beautiful, poetic, punch to the gut on the same level as In the Dream House”
“This book is truly a great read. The way Natasha Trethewey creates the visuals in her writings are truly amazing. I never been to Gulfport, Mississippi but after reading this book I can vividly imagine myself in front of her yard looking across the street at Uncle Son and Aunt Sugar’s house. A few phrases and quotes have jumped out at me but one phrase that stuck with me was “Do you know what it means to have a wound that never heals?” Those words kept echoing in my head as I was reading what happened to her mother leading up to her death. Those words are truly going to stick with me because I believe some of us all have underlying wounds that never heals. It’s sad that her step dad took her mother’s life the way he did. I hated how he treated her as a child, playing on her worst fear. In Natasha words I can feel her pain and how she tried to bury those memories deep down inside. It’s takes a lot of courage to digs those memories up to write about it. There is never any closure when losing a mother at the tender age of 19 when your really just blossoming in the crazy world but I hope her writing about her tragedy heals her in some way and brings comfort to her knowing this book will help many women. This book is a beautiful tragedy and this book should be a guiding light for all women.”
“Wow... Such a hard read but I am so glad it was written.”
“I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. I enjoyed reading this memoir. It is beautifully written. The story of her mother's senseless death is a heartbreaking one, especially since it could have been avoided.”

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 nonfiction. 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.

Other books by Natasha Trethewey

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