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Ordinary Light: A memoir by Tracy K. Smith

Ordinary Light: A memoir

by Tracy K. Smith

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1574107,617 (3.69)18



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Beautifully and completely relate-able as we are all daughters. Language and text were so elegant. Poignant story of a young girl's coming of age, her place in the family, her relationship to her mother and in the world. ( )
  Bibliofemmes | Oct 8, 2017 |
She says this book is about her relationship with her mom but I found this the least interesting part. Her growing up was more interesting. I did find it interesting how few jobs she had. She seemed to be sitting around a lot. Lucky girl! ( )
  mahallett | Jan 2, 2017 |
Smith writes a memoir as a poet would--holding up moments, and fragments, to the light so as to illuminate their mundane brilliance. It's a beautiful book that is somehow matter-of-fact and revelatory all at once. ( )
  FineFineLeonine | Sep 8, 2016 |
A well written memoir by a young Black woman whose central glue is her relationship with her mother until her untimely death. This book transcends race and gender and settles on interpersonal relationships with family members and acquaintances that have made her the woman she is today. It is not melodramatic or depressing but more of a celebration of the struggles and good times that many families have to go through. The book is well worth reading and worthy of all the acclaim it has recieved ( )
  muddyboy | Mar 8, 2016 |
Showing 4 of 4
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307962660, Hardcover)

From the dazzlingly original Pulitzer Prize-winning poet hailed for her “extraordinary range and ambition” (The New York Times Book Review): a quietly potent memoir that explores coming-of-age and the meaning of home against a complex backdrop of race, faith, and the unbreakable bond between a mother and daughter.

The youngest of five children, Tracy K. Smith was raised with limitless affection and a firm belief in God by a stay-at-home mother and an engineer father. But just as Tracy is about to leave home for college, her mother is diagnosed with cancer, a condition she accepts as part of God’s plan. Ordinary Light is the story of a young woman struggling to fashion her own understanding of belief, loss, history, and what it means to be black in America.

In lucid, clear prose, Smith interrogates her childhood in suburban California, her first collision with independence at Harvard, and her Alabama-born parents’ recollections of their own youth in the Civil Rights era. These dizzying juxtapositions—of her family’s past, her own comfortable present, and the promise of her future—will in due course compel Tracy to act on her passions for love and “ecstatic possibility,” and her desire to become a writer.

Shot through with exquisite lyricism, wry humor, and an acute awareness of the beauty of everyday life, Ordinary Light is a gorgeous kaleidoscope of self and family, one that skillfully combines a child’s and teenager’s perceptions with adult retrospection. Here is a universal story of being and becoming, a classic portrait of the ways we find and lose ourselves amid the places we call home.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 14 Apr 2015 01:15:26 -0400)

"A memoir about the author's coming of age as she grapples with her identity as an artist, her family's racial history, and her mother's death from cancer"--

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