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Fire Shut Up in My Bones

Fire Shut Up in My Bones Cover

Fire Shut Up in My Bones

By Charles M. Blow

Houghton Mifflin, Hardcover, 9780544228047, 228pp.

Publication Date: September 23, 2014

Description

A gorgeous, moving memoir of how one of America's most innovative and respected journalists found his voice by coming to terms with a painful past

New York Times
columnist Charles M. Blow mines the compelling poetry of the out-of-time African-American Louisiana town where he grew up -- a place where slavery's legacy felt astonishingly close, reverberating in the elders' stories and in the near-constant wash of violence.

Blow's attachment to his mother -- a fiercely driven woman with five sons, brass knuckles in her glove box, a job plucking poultry at a nearby factory, a soon-to-be-ex husband, and a love of newspapers and learning -- cannot protect him from secret abuse at the hands of an older cousin. It's damage that triggers years of anger and searing self-questioning.

Finally, Blow escapes to a nearby state university, where he joins a black fraternity after a passage of brutal hazing, and then enters a world of racial and sexual privilege that feels like everything he's ever needed and wanted, until he's called upon, himself, to become the one perpetuating the shocking abuse.

A powerfully redemptive memoir that both fits the tradition of African-American storytelling from the South, and gives it an indelible new slant.



NPR
Thursday, Oct 2, 2014

In a new memoir, New York Times Op-Ed columnist Charles Blow opens up about abuse he has suffered, and inflicted in his life. He tells Michel Martin why he told his story in Fire Shut Up in My Bones. More at NPR.org

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NPR
Wednesday, Sep 24, 2014

Charles Blow says he was 7 years old when he was sexually abused by a cousin. His new memoir, Fire Shut Up In My Bones, is about what he says happened, his recovery and his bisexuality. More at NPR.org

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