The Poetry of Shane McCrae: Background information when reading Pulling the Chariot of the Sun

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Pulling the Chariot of the Sun

A Memoir of a Kidnapping

by Shane McCrae

Pulling the Chariot of the Sun by Shane McCrae X
Pulling the Chariot of the Sun by Shane McCrae
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  • Published:
    Aug 2023, 272 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Valerie Morales
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About this Book

The Poetry of Shane McCrae

This article relates to Pulling the Chariot of the Sun

Black-and-white photo portrait of Shane McCrae As Shane McCrae documents in Pulling the Chariot of the Sun, he was born to a black father and a white mother. He lived alternately with both parents for three years until his maternal grandparents convinced his father to let him visit them for the weekend. When his father went to pick him up at the agreed time, the house was empty: "There was no sign of where they had gone."

Far from model guardians, his grandparents were physically abusive and racist, taunting blacks they saw on television and in person, telling him black people were inferior. Unsurprisingly, McCrae was a miserable student, failing most years he was enrolled until October 25, 1990, when he heard lines from Sylvia Plath's poem "Lady Lazarus" on the television drama Silence of the Heart: "Dying/Is an art, like everything else./I do it exceptionally well." These lines struck McCrae in the gut. And heart. And head. That night he wrote and wrote and wrote. Within a year, he decided to become a poet. In an interview...

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