|The Glass Castle: A Memoir Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): Walls, Jeannette
ISBN: 074324754X ISBN-13: 9780743247542
Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: January 2006
Annotation: In the tradition of Mary Karr's "The Liars' Club" and Rick Bragg's "All Over But the Shouting," Walls has written a stunning and life-affirming memoir about surviving a willfully impoverished, eccentric, and severely misguided family.
|Library of Congress Subjects: |
- Children of alcoholics; United States; Biography.
- Children of alcoholics; West Virginia; Welch; Biography.
- Problem families; United States; Case studies.
|BISAC Categories: |
- Biography & Autobiography | Personal Memoirs
- Biography & Autobiography | Women
- Biography & Autobiography | Literary
|Academic/Grade Level: General Adult|
|Book type: Non-Fiction|
|Physical Information: 7.75" H x 5.25" W x 0.50" (0.55 lbs) 288 pages|
|Accelerated Reader Info|
|Quiz #: 105049
Reading Level: 5.9 Interest Level: Upper Grades Point Value: 12.0
|Scholastic Reading Counts Info|
|Quiz #: Q37193
Reading Level: 7.1 Interest Level: Grades 9-12 Point Value: 22.0
|Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
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.
Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.
What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.
For two decades, Jeannette Walls hidher roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to MSNBC.com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.
TO INQUIRE ABOUT SCHEDULING JEANNETTE WALLS FOR SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS PLEASE CONTACT:
Dustin L. Jones
Associate, College & University Division
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2005 January #3)
Freelance writer Walls doesn't pull her punches. She opens her memoir by describing looking out the window of her taxi, wondering if she's "overdressed for the evening" and spotting her mother on the sidewalk, "rooting through a Dumpster." Walls's parents-just two of the unforgettable characters in this excellent, unusual book-were a matched pair of eccentrics, and raising four children didn't conventionalize either of them. Her father was a self-taught man, a would-be inventor who could stay longer at a poker table than at most jobs and had "a little bit of a drinking situation," as her mother put it. With a fantastic storytelling knack, Walls describes her artist mom's great gift for rationalizing. Apartment walls so thin they heard all their neighbors? What a bonus-they'd "pick up a little Spanish without even studying." Why feed their pets? They'd be helping them "by not allowing them to become dependent." While Walls's father's version of Christmas presents-walking each child into the Arizona desert at night and letting each one claim a star-was delightful, he wasn't so dear when he stole the kids' hard-earned savings to go on a bender. The Walls children learned to support themselves, eating out of trashcans at school or painting their skin so the holes in their pants didn't show. Buck-toothed Jeannette even tried making her own braces when she heard what orthodontia cost. One by one, each child escaped to New York City. Still, it wasn't long before their parents appeared on their doorsteps. "Why not?" Mom said. "Being homeless is an adventure." Agent, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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