Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Sweeping Up Glass

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Sweeping Up Glass

by Carolyn Wall

Sweeping Up Glass
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2008, 278 pages
    Aug 2009, 336 pages

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Beyond the Book

Carolyn Wall describes Sweeping Up Glass as "fifty percent truth, and fifty percent based on fact. The other fifty percent (which speaks of my math skills) is flat made-up."

When I was born, we lived over a grocery store in Toronto. My father built crates in an alley for Canada Box, and sold meat pies from the basket of his bicycle. With my mother gone off to a small private hospital for shock treatments, we moved into rooms at the top of Gramma’s house. On Sunday evenings, Dad dismantled my crib, roped it to the top of the car, and threw all the baby things in back. Then he laid me on the seat beside him and drove around Toronto, looking for an aunt and uncle to take me. In a relative’s house, he’d set up my crib and kiss me good-bye.

To help support us, and to pay the doctor and hospital bills, he worked three nights a week building radios and record players for RCA Victor. He visited my mother in the hospital and took a Wednesday-night electronics class in the...

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