Memorial Drive

Natasha D. Trethewey, 1966-

eAudio - 2020

A chillingly personal and exquisitely wrought memoir of a daughter reckoning with the brutal murder of her mother at the hands of her former stepfather, and the moving, intimate story of a poet coming into her own in the wake of a tragedy. At age nineteen, Natasha Trethewey had her world turned upside down when her former stepfather shot and killed her mother. Grieving and still new to adulthood, she confronted the twin pulls of life and death in the aftermath of unimaginable trauma and now expl...ores the way this experience lastingly shaped the artist she became. With penetrating insight and a searing voice that moves from the wrenching to the elegiac, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey explores this profound experience of pain, loss, and grief as an entry point into understanding the tragic course of her mother's life and the way her own life has been shaped by a legacy of fierce love and resilience. 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.Memorial Drive is a compelling and searching look at a shared human experience of sudden loss and absence but also a piercing glimpse at the enduring ripple effects of white racism and domestic abuse. Animated by unforgettable prose and inflected by a poet's attention to language, this is a luminous, urgent, and visceral memoir from one of our most important contemporary writers and thinkers.

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Online Access
Instantly available on hoopla.
Cover image
Published
[United States] : HarperAudio 2020.
Edition
Unabridged
Language
English
Physical Description
1 online resource (1 audio file (5hr., 09 min.)) : digital
Format
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
ISBN
9780063005860
0063005867
Access
AVAILABLE FOR USE ONLY BY IOWA CITY AND RESIDENTS OF THE CONTRACTING GOVERNMENTS OF JOHNSON COUNTY, UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, HILLS, AND LONE TREE (IA).
Main Author
Natasha D. Trethewey, 1966- (-)
Corporate Author
hoopla digital (-)
Other Authors
Natasha Trethewey (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Former U.S. Poet Laureate Trethewey makes both her prose and narrating debut with a startling memoir that alchemizes never-ending trauma into an exquisite memorial. On June 5, 1985, Trethewey's mother, Gwendolyn Ann Turnbough, was murdered by former stepfather Joel Grimmett on Atlanta's Memorial Drive. Turnbough was 40, Trethewey 19; 35 years later, Trethewey gifts readers—in both print and her own voice—with something impossibly gorgeous, miraculously created from horrific tragedy. Until she was 6, Trethewey's 1960s Mississippi childhood was nurtured by her Black mother and her extended family, even as her Canadian white father was often absent. Her parents' divorce moved mother and daughter to Atlanta, where Turnbough married Grimmett, who tormented Tretheway and brutalized Turnbough. Divorce, imprisonment, the courts, police—nothing could save Turnbough. Trethewey turns to memories, dreams, even a psychic, to try to understand her loss. In 2005, Trethewey meets the first police officer who arrived at the murder scene; he bestows her with Turnbough's case files, saved from a planned courthouse purge. Where Trethewey cannot find her own words to fill the void, she transcribes the evidence tapes, her mother desperate to mitigate Grimmette's violence. With aching precision, Trethewey reads as if relentlessly bearing witness, reliving the abuse she survived, the terror her mother endured, the murder neither could escape, and the legacy of being left behind. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

An Instant New York Times Bestseller A New York Times Notable Book One of Barack Obama's Favorite Books of 2020Named One of the Best Books of the Year by: The Washington Post, NPR, Shelf Awareness, Esquire, Electric Literature, Slate, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and InStyleA chillingly personal and exquisitely wrought memoir of a daughter reckoning with the brutal murder of her mother at the hands of her former stepfather, and the moving, intimate story of a poet coming into her own in the wake of a tragedyAt age nineteen, Natasha Trethewey had her world turned upside down when her former stepfather shot and killed her mother. Grieving and still new to adulthood, she confronted the twin pulls of life and death in the aftermath of unimaginable trauma and now explores the way this experience lastingly shaped the artist she became.With penetrating insight and a searing voice that moves from the wrenching to the elegiac, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Natasha Trethewey explores this profound experience of pain, loss, and grief as an entry point into understanding the tragic course of her mother’s life and the way her own life has been shaped by a legacy of fierce love and resilience. 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.Memorial Drive is a compelling and searching look at a shared human experience of sudden loss and absence but also a piercing glimpse at the enduring ripple effects of white racism and domestic abuse. Animated by unforgettable prose and inflected by a poet’s attention to language, this is a luminous, urgent, and visceral memoir from one of our most important contemporary writers and thinkers.