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WRT 101 - East (Salvo) Writing I: Memoir: Interesting Reads
African-American life in Chicago 1927-1937. Author, Richard Wright discovers that migrants from the South have traded plantations for urban ghettos. They live in the black belt of Chicago and remain racially and economically disenfranchised.
A modest man in awe of his own celebrity, he has sung of the joys and sorrows, dreams and frustrations of the Mexican American community over a sixty-year career. Lalo Guerrero is an American original, and his music jubilantly reflects the history of Chicano popular culture and music. Lalo's autobiography takes readers on a musical rollercoaster, from his earliest enjoyment of Latino and black sounds in Tucson to his burgeoning career in Los Angeles singing with Los Carlistas, the quartet with which he began his recording career in 1938. During the fifties and sixties his music dominated the Latin American charts in both North and South America, and his song "Canción Mexicana" has become the unofficial anthem of Mexico.
A firsthand account of war from the perspective of a former child soldier, detailing the violent civil war that wracked his native Sierra Leone and the government forces that transformed a gentle young boy into a killer as a member of the army
When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education, but she almost paid the ultimate price. Shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York
Sophie is twenty-one when she is diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of cancer. A striking, fun-loving student, her world is reduced overnight to the sterile confines of a hospital. But within these walls Sophie discovers a whole new world of shared rooms, hair loss, and eyebrow pencils. As wigs become a crucial part of Sophie's new life, she reclaims a sense of self-expression.
The author offers an account of her journey from a fifteen-year-old living on the streets to her acceptance into Harvard, a feat that prompted a Lifetime movie and a successful motivational-speaking career.
Growing up in the 1940s on his family's gracious Southern California ranch, young Villasenor envisions a cowboy's life, just like he's seen in western movies and learned from his loving but occasionally abrasive Mexican-born pap . Reality, however, finds him in the unwelcome company of an American school system where he doesn't fit in and is ostracized thanks to his undiagnosed dyslexia and limited English.
In 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby was the editor in chief of French Elle, the father of two young children, a forty-three-year-old man known and loved for his wit, his style, and his impassioned approach to life. By the end of the year he was also the victim of a rare kind of stroke to the brain stem. After twenty days in a coma, Bauby awoke into a body that had all but stopped working: only his left eye functioned, allowing him to see and, by blinking, to make clear that his mind was unimpaired. Almost miraculously, he was soon able to express himself in the richest detail, blinking to select letters one by one as a special alphabet was slowly recited to him, over and over again. In the same way, he was eventually able to compose this extraordinary book. By turns wistful, mischievous, angry and witty, Bauby bears witness to his determination to live as fully in his mind as he had been able to in his body. He explains the joy, and the deep sadness, of seeing his children and of hearing his aged father's voice on the phone. In magical sequences, he imagines traveling to other places and times; of lying next to the woman he loves. Fed only intravenously, he imagines preparing and tasting the full flavor of delectable dishes. Again and again he returns to an "inexhaustible reservoir of sensations," keeping in touch with himself and the life around him
A candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie's wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author's original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man's capacity for inhumanity to man.
A former L.A. gang member describes his experiences in that world, recounting the sense of security and power found in a gang and the grim reality of violence and poverty. By age twelve, the author was a veteran of East L.A. gang warfare. Lured by a seemingly invincible gang culture, he witnessed countless shootings, beatings, and arrests, then watched with increasing fear as drugs, murder, suicide, and senseless acts of street crime claimed friends and family members. Before long he saw a way out of the barrio through education and the power of words, and successfully broke free from years of violence and desperation. Achieving success as an award-winning Chicano poet, he was sure the streets would haunt him no more, until his young son joined a gang. He fought for his child by telling his own story in this memoir that explores the motivations of gang life and cautions against the death and destruction that inevitably claim its participants.
Dumas, who first came to America from Iran as a young girl in 1972, recounts many anecdotes about her family's adjustment to this country in a light, humorous style. Detailed here are her uncle's encounter with all-American fast food (with disastrous consequences for his waistline) and her father's penchant for pursuing freebies wherever he could find them. Though the tone stays gentle, Dumas also includes darker episodes, such as her father's inability to find a job during the Iran hostage crisis and her family's nearly being beaten by protesters when they are in Washington, DC, to welcome the shah. Dumas also provides a few glimpses of middle-class life in prerevolutionary Iran, where her father enjoyed watching American Westerns as a boy and her uncle was a successful doctor. Today, as Middle Easterners in the United States are subject to racial profiling, stereotyping, and sometimes violence, this book provides a valuable glimpse into the immigrant experiences of one very entertaining family.
Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.
John Bul Dau was born in 1974 and grew up in a traditional cattle-centered farm in Duk County. In 1987 when the Sudanese civil war brought northern soldiers to his village in a nighttime raid, John fled into the bush to save his life, becoming one of the thousands of Lost Boys who fled their homeland to grasp at a chance for survival.
One fateful starless night, 17-year-old Ira Wagler got up at 2 AM, left a scribbled note under his pillow, packed all of his earthly belongings into in a little black duffel bag, and walked away from his home in the Amish settlement of Bloomfield, Iowa. Now, in this heartwarming memoir, Ira paints a vivid portrait of Amish life, from his childhood days on the family farm, his Rumspringa rite of passage at age 16, to his ultimate decision to leave the Amish Church for good at age 26.
Brian Parker grew up the middle child of three in a career military family. Upon graduating high school, he decided to study law enforcement in college. He graduated from Pima Community college in the summer of 1995 and immediately entered the workforce. After a few years working in corrections he finally realized his dream and that is where this story takes off. Hired as a Pima County Sheriff Deputy, he requested to work on the "Southside" because his mentors told him that was the best place to work to become a great cop. After several great years, he left Pima County for the Tucson Police Department in 2000. Ten years later, he continues to work for the city and currently holds the rank of Sergeant.
Poet Baca's (Black Mesa Poems) memoir reveals a complex early life. Alternately loved and abandoned by his alcoholic father and his mother, nurtured by grandparents but sent to an orphanage when his grandfather died, Baca was illiterate at 21 and unable to support himself legitimately. Beyond self-pity, however, he acknowledges his own as well as others' responsibility for his path to prison. Arrested for dealing drugs but falsely accused of shooting an FBI agent, Baca was betrayed by friends, attorneys, and the legal system. His unflinching account of his incarceration, with its brutality and occasional benevolence, reveals the paradox of prison life. Ironically, his time in solitary confinement redeemed him, prompting lifesaving memories of his rural New Mexico childhood, which ignited his ability to use language to elevate himself above his immediate surroundings.