Little Boy Blues

A Memoir

By Malcolm Jones
(Pantheon, Hardcover, 9780307377722, 240pp.)

Publication Date: January 12, 2010

List Price: $24.95*
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From one of our most astute cultural observers, a piercing memoir about a family’s breakup and the need simultaneously to embrace and distance ourselves from the people and events that shape us.
North Carolina in the 1950s and 1960s:  A child surrounded mostly by grandparents, aunts, and uncles born in the previous century, Malcolm Jones finds himself underfoot in a disintegrating marriage. His father is charming but careless about steady work, often gone from home and often drunk. His mother, a schoolteacher and faded Southern belle, clings to the past while hungering for respectability and stability. Jones vividly describes their faltering marriage as it plays out against larger cracks in society: the convulsions of desegregation and a popular culture that threatens the church-centered life of his family. He also recalls idyllic times and the ordinary, easy moments of an otherwise fraught childhood: discovering an old Victrola, attending a marionette show—experiences that offer a portal to other worlds.
Richly evoking a time and place with rare depth of feeling and a penetrating, often bittersweet candor, Malcolm Jones gives us the fundamental stories of a life—where he comes from, who he was, who he has become.

About the Author

Malcolm Jones has written features, reviews, and essays for Newsweek’s culture section since 1989. Prior to that he was a newspaper reporter in North Carolina and Florida. He lives with his family in the Hudson River Valley.

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