A childhood, the biography of a place /

Harry Crew recounts his childhood, focusing on the people, places, and circumstances that shaped him into the author he is today.

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Main Author: Crews, Harry, 1935-2012.
Format: Book
Language:English
Published:Athens : University of Georgia Press, 1995.
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Main Author:Crews, Harry, 1935-2012.
Summary:Harry Crew recounts his childhood, focusing on the people, places, and circumstances that shaped him into the author he is today.

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.

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General Notes:Previously published: New York : Harper & Row, c1978.
Physical Description:182 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
ISBN:0820317594 (alk. paper)
9780820317595 (alk. paper)
Author Notes:

Harry Crews was born in Alma, Georgia on June 7, 1935. He served three years in the Marines then entered the University of Florida on the G.I. Bill. He received a bachelor's degree in literature in 1960, followed by a master's in education. He taught at Broward Community College and wrote copy for Nelson Boswell's radio show Challenge the Response.

His first novel, The Gospel Singer, was published in 1968. His other works include Karate Is a Thing of the Spirit, Car, The Hawk Is Dying, The Gypsy's Curse, A Feast of Snakes, The Knockout Artist, Scar Lover, and Celebration. He also wrote a memoir entitled A Childhood: The Biography of a Place. He died from complications of neuropathy on March 28, 2012 at the age of 76.

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