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Jerald Walker is the author of The World in Flames: A Black Boyhood in a White Supremacist Doomsday Cult and Street Shadows: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and Redemption, winner of the 2011 PEN New England Award for Nonfiction. He has published in magazines such as Creative Nonfiction, Harvard näytä lisää Review, Missouri Review, River Teeth, Mother Jones, Iowa Review, and Oxford American, and he has been widely anthologized, including five times in The Best American Essays. The recipient of James A. Michener and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, Walker is Professor of Creative Writing at Emerson College. näytä vähemmän

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Associated Works

The Best American Essays 2007 (2007) — Avustaja — 469 kappaletta
The Best American Essays 2009 (2009) — Avustaja — 231 kappaletta
The Best American Essays 2011 (2011) — Avustaja — 224 kappaletta
The Best American Essays 2014 (2014) — Avustaja — 164 kappaletta
The Best American Essays 2020 (2020) — Avustaja — 86 kappaletta
Brothers: 26 Stories of Love and Rivalry (2009) — Avustaja — 13 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla


University of Iowa
Bridgewater State College



Selected as part of the Amherst Jones Library's On the Same Page program. I'm very glad I read it! About half of the essays are in second person, an unusual choice but one that works very well here; the other half are in first person.

See also: The Black Friend by Frederick Joseph; I'm Still Here by Austin Channing Brown


Racism is part and parcel of our culture, the great American disease with which we are all afflicted; there will be no cure until we accept this diagnosis. (from "The Heritage Room," 39)

Her tolerance for racism was extreme, in your view, which was to say she resisted it only if it were actually occurring, whereas all you required was its possibility. (From "Smoke," 84)

We were having trouble getting excited about our trip to Chicago, on account of all the murders. (From "Once More To the Ghetto," 120)
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JennyArch | 1 muu arvostelu | Apr 3, 2022 |
I sped through this, it was so enlightening and well written. I wish I had read Dragon Slayers before I tackled the Norton Anthology of African American Literature. I really appreciated his perspective on reading the works of African Americans. His essays are entertaining and eye opening. Really a lot of food for thought here.
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njcur | 1 muu arvostelu | Sep 9, 2021 |
Jerald Walker's story of a young black boy is a story of hardship and struggle. The Worldwide Church of God got so many things wrong - theologically and socially. While they allowed black folk to be part of the church, they weren't allowed to integrate and so were kind of separate from the whites. As a young child of blind parents - this had to have created some difficulties for Jerry and his siblings. The church's heavy emphasis on the end of the world coming soon must have been confusing for small children and when the prophecies didn't come true on the dates expected, caused even more confusion and some disillusionment.

Jerry's story is compelling and sad. He doesn't sugar coat or glorify the difficulties of the family, but treats it matter-of-fact-like. Not only are both his parents blind, his father is also epileptic and a heavy drinker. Though his father continues to provide for the family, I can't help but wonder how his drinking affected the family.

Fortunately he ultimately rejects much of the WCOG's teaching and begins to think for himself as a teenager. It would be interesting to know what happened to the rest of the family as well.
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TerryLewis | 40 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jun 12, 2017 |
Tämä arvostelu kirjoitettiin LibraryThingin Varhaisia arvostelijoita varten.
How do we really know what goes on within a family?

Jerald Walker recounts a childhood which seems nearly unbelievable. His parents raised their children with love, but with elaborate strictures based on their faith that seem more akin to abuse than nurturing.

This telling of a very unusual childhood is punctuated by moments of bravery, moments of cruelty, and moments of pathos, which never quite descend into bathos. Walker shares his recollections with insight and wit, and surprisingly little bitterness. The adult writer retains compassion for his parents, his siblings, and, most importantly, himself.

Although the content makes many parts of the book tough to read, it’s nevertheless a page-turner. I finished it with conflicting emotions, however. This is a good read -- does that make it a good book? Is the telling of Walker’s tale a good thing, or is it somehow exploitative? What became of the rest his family after the closing of this narrative? The fact that these questions remain in the reader’s head is evidence of Walker’s power to make us care about the Walker family. No small achievement.
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LNDuff | 40 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 30, 2017 |



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