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Memorial Drive
Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir | Natasha Trethewey
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 Prizewinning poet Natasha Trethewey explores this profound experience of pain, loss, and grief as an entry point into understanding the tragic course of her mothers life and the way her own life has been shaped by a legacy of fierce love and resilience. Moving through her mothers 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 poets attention to language, this is a luminous, urgent, and visceral memoir from one of our most important contemporary writers and thinkers.
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Blackink_WhitePaper
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Pickpick

Its hard to read , but still I read only because of the way it is written. Honest memoir about domestic abuse and racism. It made me to think about lot of issues , and to see my life in a different prospect. 4.5⭐️

#nonfiction2022 #Outcast #bookspinbingo

TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 1mo
37 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Gissy
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Pickpick

A sad but beautifully written memoir. The author will share her experience of her mother tragic death, how both of them suffered from racism and domestic abuse. You can see so well the domestic abuser mind schema (if that is the correct word) in those phone calls transcripts. Could her mother‘s death have been prevented?
😢😔5⭐️

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andioop
Pickpick

I thought the beginning wasn‘t as engaging as i wanted it to be, but it evolves like crazy into this super beautiful and heartbreaking story. Really sad. Points out so many structural problems with how violence against women is viewed and handled in our culture. Overall recommend.
Hearing the author speak shortly.....

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Lauren890
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This is a beautifully written memoir about her childhood and her mother. I listened to the audiobook, narrated by the author. She did such a good job of building the story so there was context, and changed to second person so she could cope with writing it. It‘s a heartbreaking memoir but I do recommend it.

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Wife
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Mehso-so

It has taken me so long to finish this memoir. So much trauma and emotional abuse the author has suffered that I could only read it in small doses. Her mother was murdered by her stepfather and she writes of memories no child should have. I felt that the transcripts of phone conversations between her mother and stepfather were torturous to read, I can‘t imagine the fear. 2/5💔s

Wife I gave a so-so rating for readability. I just couldn‘t connect. I think the author actually held back her emotions, probably for self-protective reasons. And this may be an unpopular opinion, but I don‘t see why this memoir received the Pulitzer. 11mo
38 likes1 comment
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BookNAround
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Mehso-so

A dreamy, poetic recounting of Tretheway‘s memories of her mother and her mother‘s murder. She addresses the nature of memory and the willful forgetting of details too painful to remember but the patchy and incomplete way this was written failed to land for me. Full review at https://booknaround.blogspot.com/2021/06/review-memorial-drive-by-natasha.html

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JenReadsAlot
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Pickpick

What a powerful memoir. The courage to write about your own mother's murder. #bookspinbingo square on #audio

kspenmoll I have this in my stack… 12mo
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JenReadsAlot
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New #audio book and cool flowers I saw on my walk.

mcctrish Very cool 12mo
KatieB Oh they are pretty! Any idea what they are? 12mo
JenReadsAlot @KatieB I have no idea, but so pretty! 12mo
EvieBee Surprise Lilies! 12mo
37 likes4 comments
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Bookboss
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Pickpick

This is an excellent memoir of grief and abuse. Trethewey‘s prose is beautiful as she describes her mother‘s marriage to an abusive man who murders her. The author grounds her experiences within the social, political, and historical context of the time. Her descriptions of her fear and grief are heartbreaking. Her strength and perseverance are encouraging. I read it in one day.

TrishB This one was brilliant! 13mo
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Bookgoil
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Pickpick

What an emotional and harrowing memoir about the loss of a mother tragically to murder. It left me with many questions and so many emotions. Such a hard read but a good one. Read for my July #doublespin choice.

@TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Great progress!! 13mo
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bthegood
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Pickpick

#ThinkPositiveBePositive thx for tag @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
"Never forget that walking away from something unhealthy is brave even if you stumble a little on your way out the door " source unknown
The authors mother was brave and the author was brave to share such an intimate and honest examination of her mothers death and her feelings about it. The story is beautifully written and the audio (author narrates) is very good.

bthegood #BFC21 book 1 for July @wanderinglynn 13mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Sounds good and sad! Stacked!! 13mo
24 likes3 comments
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bthegood
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Posting some July goals -
#BFC21 - stated above ( @wanderinglynn )
#ThatsClassic - @Annie1215 looking forward to Mrs. Dalloway
#ThornBirdsReadalong @TheSpineView -
#LosersClub #LosersClub2021 - Hearts in Atlantis
#Booked2021 - reading for prompt #9 A Sudden Death ( @cinfhen @4thhouseontheleft @BarbaraTheBibliophage )
#potteraday @linsy - still reading Harry Potter and 1/2 Blood Prince (once again, plan to be on same page as group for July)
😊

wanderinglynn Great goals! 🙌🏻 13mo
bthegood @wanderinglynn thx 😊 13mo
TheSpineView Awesome goals! Good luck! 13mo
Cinfhen Good luck 🍀 13mo
25 likes5 comments
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rsteve388
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Looking forward to reading the Tagged Book.
#LLSS #LitsyLoveSummerSwap

SamAnne Oh, it's good. And hearbreaking. 14mo
42 likes1 comment
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kspenmoll
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“ Do you know what it means to have a wound that never heals?”
#literati #June2021 #CherylStrayed

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BookNAround
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5 hours and 100 pages to go before book club tonight!

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megnews
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Pickpick

Chilling. A powerful, fast paced memoir.

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ravenlee
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Pickpick

While this is definitely a sad read, especially when Trethewey writes about how much of her time with her mother she has lost to forgetting, overall it made me angry. Lots of books have been making me angry recently - notably this and Tess. We need to do better for women, we just do. I think there are more resources now but I‘m sick of hearing about women being killed by obsessive men. Learn how to take rejection. #bookspin for April

TheAromaofBooks Great progress!! 1y
Suet624 Totally agree. 1y
TrishB Yep 1y
39 likes3 comments
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ravenlee
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Of course, we‘re made up of what we‘ve forgotten too, what we‘ve tried to bury or suppress.

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ravenlee

Wow, just about 20% in and already I‘m blown away by the beauty of the language and have requested one of Trethewey‘s poetry collections from the library.

TrishB I brought a book of her poetry immediately after reading this too. 1y
ravenlee @TrishB which one did you get? I found Native Guard in my library‘s database, and they have Thrall as well. I‘m starting with Native Guard. 1y
20 likes3 comments
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ravenlee
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Finally starting my April #bookspin, on the last day of the month. I haven‘t been ready for it (still don‘t think I‘m ready). Kicking off the #20in4 with this one. I hope to start May with a strong weekend, but my weekend reading is usually impacted by family time. No definite goals other than read whenever possible.

TrishB This is such a sad read. 1y
Andrew65 Good luck 😊👍 1y
30 likes2 comments
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britt_brooke
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ At nineteen, Trethewey tragically lost her mom to domestic gun violence. This brief, beautifully rendered memoir is a tribute to her mother - a woman who faced much adversity in her short life. I know it‘s “A Daughter‘s Memoir,” but I wish there weren‘t so many gaps in the narrative. I selfishly want more of the story, more of the rest of the family. Still, I truly appreciate Trethewey sharing the pieces lovingly represented here.

Cinfhen This was our March IRL #Bookclub read and everyone agreed with your review. They wanted more info about the mom and why she made some of her choices and what lead to so many of her life altering events. They also wanted more about Natasha‘s dad. Still a solid memoir/ tribute 1y
britt_brooke @Cinfhen Those are the exact things I want to know! 1y
mjtwo I felt that way also 1y
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AmyK1
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Pickpick

When she‘s 19, Trethewey‘s mother is murdered by her ex husband. This is a look back at her early life and everything that lead up to that point. It‘s a beautifully written tribute to her mom, though definitely not easy to read at times.

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jdiehr
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Pickpick

The author read this beautifully told story for the audiobook.

What a heart-breaker it was to listen to Trethewey recount the facts surrounding her mother's death at the hand of her stepfather.

She told her difficult story with such poetic language that, despite the subject matter, it was beautiful to listen to.

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Cinfhen
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Pickpick

This is a beautiful tribute from a grieving daughter for her murdered mother, at the hands of Natasha‘s stepfather. It‘s a story all too familiar where once again society & law enforcement fails women. Natasha‘s mom was a trial blazer, dealing with racism, sexism, and single parenting. Its obvious that Natasha is a poet as her words are vivid and lyrical. Her own reading on audio was extra haunting. Slim in length but impactful.

britt_brooke Nice review! I hope I‘m ready for it when my hold comes up. Sounds so difficult. 💔 1y
Kimzey I was in a Zoom presentation with her yesterday! Powerful stuff! I‘m definitely planning to read this. 1y
Cinfhen She must have been so interesting to listen to @Kimzey 🥰 1y
TrishB Great review, such a powerful read. 1y
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Cinfhen
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Next up: IRL bookclub 💖

britt_brooke Waiting on this from my library .... 3 more weeks. 🤞🏻 Can‘t wait to see what you think. 1y
Megabooks @britt_brooke same, but it‘s 16 weeks for me! 1y
Cinfhen It was good @britt_brooke @Megabooks but I wouldn‘t suggest using a credit - it‘s only a few hours on audio 1y
71 likes3 comments
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JGadz11
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Great read: poetic, horrific, enlightening. Trethewey writes in a concise way that hits really hard. Every sentence is carefully crafted - you have no choice but to get swept along.

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HeatherBookNerd
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Pickpick

Trethewey‘s mother was murdered by her stepfather when she was 19. In this book, thirty years after her mother's death, Tretheway finally scours her past, putting together the history of those early years that she had tried so hard to forget. She wrestles with memories, new facts about her mother's death, and the ways her life and career have been forever shaped by this horrific loss.

britt_brooke Excellent review! I have it on hold and hope to get it soon. 1y
HeatherBookNerd @britt_brooke it is really good. So thoughtful and beautifully written. 1y
51 likes2 comments
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underground_bks
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Pickpick

When U.S. poet laureate Natasha Trethewey was 19 years old, her stepfather shot and killed her mother. Her memoir is part requiem for her mother and part reckoning with the forces that forged Trethewey as a writer and a poet. In making meaning from the wreckage of the past, Trethewey doesn‘t polish each shard, but leaves the patina on, so you can see where each piece comes from, how it survived. What she builds from it all is someplace sacred.

TrishB Lovely review ♥️ 1y
29 likes1 comment
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SW-T
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Pickpick

Started this one after breakfast and finished by lunch. Amazing read. Impossible to put down. You might need Kleenex but you won‘t regret reading this stark, but luminous gem.

TrishB Amazing read ♥️ 1y
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TrishB
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Pickpick

And this is why I don‘t read sad, memoir NF, because I now can‘t get Natasha out of my head. 💔
As a piece of writing, it‘s sparse and precise, but cuts deep. Her reflection and applied hindsight are painful. Her many echoes of what if? Her guilt in living.
There are many questions and things I would like to say to Natasha but as I can‘t, I‘ve brought some of her poetry instead. I would like to revisit her creative force.

Cinfhen Beautiful review, we read this next month for my IRL bookclub ~ I‘m prepared for an emotional read 2y
SamAnne This one was a gut wrencher. 2y
BarbaraBB Beautiful review indeed 💔 2y
See All 9 Comments
TrishB @Cinfhen @SamAnne @BarbaraBB thank you ♥️ it was indeed gut wrenching! 2y
batsy Lovely review 💜 2y
KarenUK Lovely review Trish..... I rarely read memoirs but you sold me on this one 💕 2y
Cathythoughts Beautiful review ❤️💔 2y
TrishB @batsy @Cathythoughts thank you, I felt this one a lot. 2y
TrishB @KarenUK I very rarely read them either because they are all sad! 2y
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Erynecki
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Pickpick

In Memorial Drive, Trethewey documents a portrait of her mother, herself, and how her mother‘s death was at once about loss of life, love, violence, race relations, and what it means to live at those intersections. And then I went online to listen to Natasha Trethewey Read her poem, “Letter to Inmate #271847​"
Poetry is powerful and so is this memoir.

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Julsmarshall
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Pickpick

My goodness, this book is a stunning achievement. When a poet tackles prose, the result is often spare, precise and perfect and that is what you‘ll find here. Without an extra word or off note, this memoir is filled with a clear-eyed poise that will live with me for some time. 2nd book for #24in48Readathon and what a revelation! #BookspinBingo @TheAromaofBooks #integrateyourshelf #ownvoices

Christine Yes, this was amazing! I loved the audiobook but would like to reread in print. 2y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2y
Librariana Sounds outstanding! 2y
Thousand-Lives Excellent review. I loved this memoir also. 2y
Megabooks I have this on hold at the library, but the wait is over 4 months. I might have to buy it! Great review! 2y
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Come-read-with-me
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Pickpick

Just finished my second read for Black History Month. Trethewey‘s voice is strong as she writes about the love and support of her mother. As a child being raised by a black mother and a largely absent white father, the author takes the reader down patches that are jarring and uncomfortable while highlighting the strength of her mother. Thought this was an exceptional book. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Soubhiville
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My January Wrap Up.

My favorites of the month were Memorial Drive, Across the Green Grass Fields, Cassidy Holmes, and Girl, Woman, Other, but most were quite good!

I DNF‘d The Bloody Chamber and How Long ‘Til Black Future Month. Short stories just don‘t work for me a lot of the time.

Cats on Catnip, Pattern Behavior, and Troubled Birds are just humor, mostly pictures.

Looking forward to another great month of reading!📚📚📚

ephemeralwaltz Wow!! Great bunch 2y
Jessieleah Impressive!😊 2y
LeahBergen 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2y
See All 7 Comments
AmyG Wow!!! 2y
LaraReads Oh wow! Great job! 🙌🏻 2y
jewright I just finished Ready Player One. I‘ve been wondering if Two is worth my time? Did you like it? 2y
Soubhiville @jewright I liked it, but not as much as the first. There is a part about Prince that made the whole book for me 😊 2y
82 likes7 comments
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mjtwo
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Pickpick

13-17 Jan 2021 (audiobook)
This memoir is poetic, despite its heartbreaking exploration of domestic violence. I had many questions - about the author‘s mother, her relationships and the way the escalating threats were handled. The scant details are understandable given the author‘s youth at the time of the murder.
I found the author reading the transcript of her mother‘s last phone call with the man who was to kill her difficult to listen to.

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Soubhiville
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Pickpick

This is a haunting and heartbreaking memoir about Natasha‘s mother‘s terrifying relationship with her abusive, obsessive, and eventually murderous husband. It‘s beautifully written, incredibly sad, and definitely not for the faint hearted. I‘m glad I listened, but I feel a little broken now. 🥺

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Thousand-Lives
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Pickpick

This slim memoir is powerful and heartbreaking. Trethewey writes of the grief she experienced following her mother‘s murder at the hands of her step-father. Trethewey also recounts her experience of growing up in the south during the 1960s/1970s with a black mother and white father. The author is a poet and that shines through in her writing. Trigger warnings for domestic violence.

Eggs Beautiful heartbreak 💔💔 2y
Suet624 Posts write such beautiful books. 2y
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akfreeborn
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Pickpick

What an impactful memoir and personal investigation of the tragic loss of the author‘s mother to domestic violence when she was only 19. It was when their relationship was growing stronger with her stepfather gone. Best book I‘ve read on abuse partly because we came to it from the daughter‘s sometimes fuzzy perspective but we hear her mom‘s voice and completely understand this devastating loss and frustration. So beautifully written!

Eggs Agreed 💔 2y
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tholmz
Pickpick

Truly devastating.

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Thousand-Lives
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Ordered a pizza for dinner, which gives me more couch time with this excellent memoir.

SabGinesi I‘ve never heard of this book - what is it about and is it any good? ☺️ 2y
Thousand-Lives @SabGinesi It‘s a memoir about the author‘s experience dealing with the grief of her mother‘s murder. She also recounts her experience of growing up in the south during the 60s/70s with a black mother and white father. The author is a poet and the book is very well-written. I‘m enjoying it a lot. 🙂 2y
SabGinesi @Thousand-Lives That sounds super interesting! I‘ll have to check it out 2y
SamAnne Read this one over the holidays. Powerful story. 2y
75 likes4 stack adds4 comments
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TrishB
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Today‘s #bookmail
Had a book token that needed spending 😁

rockpools Well, you wouldn‘t want it to expire! 2y
squirrelbrain It would be rude not to spend it really! 2y
kathedron Oh! I've just stacked MD from an article in the TLS. 2y
See All 7 Comments
TrishB @rockpools @squirrelbrain it only had 8 years left on it 🤷‍♀️ 2y
TrishB @kathedron it looks fab, though very sad. 2y
Caroline2 Oh these both look so good! I really want read more memoirs and biographies this year. 👍 ❤️ 2y
TrishB @Caroline2 I‘m enjoying the NF at the moment! Which is not something I normally say! 2y
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MamaMastracci
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JLaurenceCohen
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I heard Trethewey give a reading from Memorial Drive while she was working on it a few years ago and it was one of the most moving things I've ever heard.

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JenReadsAlot
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Took advantage of Audible sale. Not sure I'm done 🤔

Megabooks I missed Notes. I must go back through and double check! 2y
JenReadsAlot @Megabooks I will be doing the same! 2y
18 likes2 comments
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Eggs
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Natasha Trethewey is an American poet who was appointed United States Poet Laureate in 2012 and again in 2013. She won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her 2006 collection Native Guard, and she is a former Poet Laureate of Mississippi.

#clean #poetrymatters @TheSpineView

TheSpineView Great choice! 🤩😊❤ 2y
Eggs Thanks 💕 @TheSpineView 2y
40 likes2 comments
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crazyspine
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Pickpick

Even those this is a memoir written in prose, it's obvious by her writing style that Trethewey is a poet by nature. Memorial Drive is a short account of the narrator's journey coming to terms with her mother's murder.

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MicheleinPhilly
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Have heard nothing but raves for this. #KindleDailyDeals

Reviewsbylola I think I just reserved this from my library but stacking in case I‘m wrong! 😂 2y
Suet624 Never heard of it, but sure, I‘ll stack it! 2y
44 likes6 stack adds2 comments
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AvidReader25
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Pickpick

Haunting and heartbreaking, the author recounts the brutal murder of her mother. If you know anyone who has dealt with abuse of any kind, it‘s hard to read at times. She has an incredible gift for bringing beauty to descriptions as she works through her grief.

“In some versions, Cassandra's fate is that she is merely misunderstood-not unlike what my father imagined to be the obvious fate of a mixed-race child born in a place like Mississippi.”

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Well-ReadNeck
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I can't believe that the Decatur Book Festival is almost over. Loved “seeing“ you guys this month. I'm over the moon about the Endnote on Sunday afternoon with Natasha Trethewey. Her memoir, Memorial Drive, is a must read. #DBF2020
https://decaturbookfestival.com/session/endnote-natasha-trethewey/

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Godpants
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September Roundup Part 1: Memorial Drive was really the stand out. It‘s heart wrenching, absolutely. Unspeakable Acts was also excellent. Everything else here was decent.