Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey is a chillingly personal and exquisitely wrought memoir of a daughter reckoning with the brutal murder of her mother and the hand of her stepfather and her path to healing from a traumatic event. This moving, heartbreaking memoir is one of the best memoirs I’ve read this year.
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey explores her profound experience of pain, loss, and grief as an entry point into understanding the tragic course of her mother’s life. Moving through her mother’s history in the deeply segregated South and through her own girlhood as a “child of miscegenation” in Mississippi, Trethewey plumbs her sense of dislocation and displacement in the lead-up to the harrowing crime that took place on Memorial Drive in Atlanta in 1985.
“A former U.S. poet laureate, Natasha Trethewey brings her mastery of language to this tough, lyrical account of a daughter entering the adult world while dealing with the brutal murder of her mother.”
This is a short read that packs a punch. This unrelenting and harrowing tale is beautifully written, filled with unforgettable prose and inflected by a poet’s attention to language. There’s sorrow and heartbreak but also a beautiful portrait of a mother and daughter’s enduring love.
It’s a rumination on grief and recovering from a trauma with penetrating insight and a searing voice that moves from wrenching to elegiac.
“A work of exquisitely distilled anguish and elegiac drama . . . Through finely honed, evermore harrowing memories, dreams, visions, and musings, Trethewey maps the inexorable path to her mother’s murder. . . . Trethewey writes, ‘To survive trauma, one must be able to tell a story about it.’ And tell her tragic story she does in this lyrical, courageous, and resounding remembrance.”
—Booklist (starred review)
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