BookBrowse Reviews Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey

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Memorial Drive

by Natasha Trethewey

Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey X
Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2020, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2021, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lisa Butts
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Pulitzer Prize-winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey navigates grief and residual trauma 30 years after her mother's murder in this devastating and lyrical memoir.

On June 5, 1985, Natasha Trethewey's mother, Gwendolyn Turnbough, was murdered by her ex-husband, Joel Grimmette. It took Trethewey 30 years to feel ready to truly reckon with the trauma of this event and the years of abuse that preceded it. In a piercing, extraordinary memoir, she excavates the chasm of the loss and holds its terrible artifacts up to the light of day.

Memorial Drive begins with the author's childhood in Mississippi in the late 1960s and early '70s, where she grew up surrounded by doting family who could not entirely shield her from the racism of the time and place. Trethewey is the biracial child of a Black mother and a white father, and the family was often subjected to threats and intimidation. (She notes that her mother gave birth to her in a hospital that was still segregated on April 26, 1966, the 100-year anniversary of Mississippi's celebration of Confederate...

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