A Childhood: The Biography of a Place

Front Cover
University of Georgia Press, 1995 - 182 pages
5 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
A Childhood is the unforgettable memoir of Harry Crews' earliest years, a sharply remembered portrait of the people, locales, and circumstances that shaped him--and destined him to be a storyteller. Crews was born in the middle of the Great Depression, in a one-room sharecropper's cabin at the end of a dirt road in rural South Georgia. If Bacon County was a place of grinding poverty, poor soil, and blood feuds, it was also a deeply mystical place, where snakes talked, birds could possess a small boy by spitting in his mouth, and faith healers and conjure women kept ghosts and devils at bay.

At once shocking and elegiac, heartrending and comical, A Childhood not only recalls the transforming events of Crews's youth but conveys his growing sense of self in a world "in which survival depended on raw courage, a courage born out of desperation and sustained by a lack of alternatives."

Amid portraits of relatives and neighbors, Bacon County lore, and details of farm life, Crews tells of his father's death; his friendship with Willalee Bookatee, the son of a black hired hand; his bout with polio; his mother and stepfather's failing marriage; his near-fatal scalding at a hog-killing; and a five-month sojourn in Jacksonville, Florida. These and other memories define, with reverence and affection, Harry Crews's childhood world: "its people and its customs and all its loveliness and all its ugliness." Imaginative and gripping, A Childhood re-creates in detail one writer's search for past and self, a search for a time and place lost forever except in memory.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
3
4 stars
2
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
0

Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nmele - LibraryThing

One of the most powerful, and beautifully written, memoirs I have ever read. That's all there is to say. Read it if you haven't. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - larryerick - LibraryThing

I'm not sure I'm a good enough writer to properly articulate how good this book is. The author, writing of his own life as young child in the Great Depression and early war years in the Deep South ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
18
Section 3
40
Section 4
51
Section 5
66
Section 6
79
Section 7
98
Section 8
109
Section 9
116
Section 10
131
Section 11
158
Section 12
173
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1995)

Harry Crews is the author of eighteen novels, including The Mulching of America. He teaches at the University of Florida. Michael McCurdy is an internationally known illustrator and designer whose work has appeared in the books of over thirty publishers and in such magazines as the New Yorker, Esquire, and Field and Stream. He lives in Massachusetts.

Bibliographic information