Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir (Paperback)Natasha Trethewey (author)
Merging true crime investigation with wrenching autobiography, Memorial Drive is American poet laureate Trethewey’s account of racism, murder and the unshakeable bond between a mother and daughter.
Natasha Trethewey was born in Mississippi in the 60s to a black mother and a white father. When she was six, Natasha's parents divorced, and she and her mother moved to Atlanta. There, her mother met the man who would become her second husband, and Natasha's stepfather.
While she was still a child, Natasha decided that she would not tell her mother about what her stepfather did when she was not there: the quiet bullying and control, the games of cat and mouse. Her mother kept her own secrets, secrets that grew harder to hide as Natasha came of age. When Natasha was nineteen and away at college, her stepfather shot her mother dead on the driveway outside their home.
With penetrating insight and a searing voice that moves from the wrenching to the elegiac, Memorial Drive is a compelling and searching look at a shared human experience of sudden loss and absence, and a piercing glimpse at the enduring ripple effects of white racism and domestic abuse. Luminous, urgent, and visceral, it cements Trethewey's position as one of the most important voices in America today.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 178 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
'Natasha Trethewey has composed a riveting memoir that reads like a detective story about her mother's murder by a malevolent ex-husband. It reads with all the poise and clarity of Trethewey's unforgettable poetry - heartrending without a trace of pathos, wise and smart at once, unforgettable. The short section her mother penned as she was trying to escape the marriage moved me to tears. I read the book in one gulp and expect to reread it more than once. A must-read classic' - Mary Karr
'Natasha Trethewey's memoir is predicated on a brutal act, but there is nothing sensational about the way it reads. This memoir-cum-true-crime story from the two-time Poet Laureate and Pulitzer winner is a narrative about how her mother was murdered by her ex-stepfather, but it is also a coming-of-age story for a young artist ... This book may have been written by one of our most celebrated poets, but its lyricism is tethered to the author's lived and deeply felt experience.' - Vogue, The 22 Best Books to Read in Summer 2020
'In Memorial Drive, Natasha Trethewey has transformed unimaginable tragedy into a work of sublimity. There's sorrow and heartbreak, yes, but also a beautiful portrait of a mother and her daughter's enduring love. Trethewey writes elegantly, trenchantly, intimately as well about the fraught history of the south and what it means live at the intersection of America's struggle between blackness and whiteness. And what, in our troubled republic, is a subject more evergreen?' - Mitchell S. Jackson
'Haunting, powerful, and painfully stunning, Memorial Drive is one of the best memoirs I've read in a long time. A brilliant storyteller, Trethewey writes the unimaginable truth with a clear-eyed courage that proves, once again, that she's one of the nation's best writers' - Ada Limon, author of Bright Dead Things and NBCC award-winner The Carrying
'A story that burrows deep in your emotional centre ...The work enraptures like a thriller, unraveling as it races against the inevitable' - Esquire
'A moving, poignant reflection on grief' - Buzzfeed
'A tragic tale, told with clarity and shattering insight' - BBC
'Natasha Trethewey's forthcoming memoir Memorial Drive just bowled me over. Is it the best true crime memoir I've read? It's certainly in my upper echelon now' - Sarah Weinman
'Her exquisite and brutal lyricism as well as her commitment to truth makes Trethewey one of the most important American poets of our time ... A tremendously empathic and enthusiastic force in our nation's bleak period. Her words settle with profound gravity' - Paris Review
'A glorious example of what results when one listens - and writes - brilliantly ... Her work is loved because she refuses to forget those who've been lost and the struggles of those who remain' - Washington Post
'Trethewey has an insistent intellect and a gift for turning over rich soil' - New York Times
'Impassioned but clear-eyed ... She is poised to build a powerful legacy ... We can look forward to the fresh direction that Trethewey's compass will, inevitably, point us' - New Yorker
'What a devastating story she has to tell; if it is at all like her Pulitzer Prize-winning poems, it will lift and mourn and make you think at the same time' - Literary Hub
'She reveals how keenly all of us are shaped by loss, and how much America, too, has been forged by the ever-present shard of grief' - O Magazine
'This is a black woman who has committed an entire life and career to holding a country accountable, despite the weight of her own grief' - Buzzfeed
'The wide scope of her interests and her adept handling of form have created an opus of classics both elegant and necessary' - Marilyn Nelson, 2016 Academy of American Poets Fellowship judge
'A marker in America's conversation on race and gender ... A must-read for people interested in where America has been, where it's headed, and how to traverse the crossroads of the country's literature while also perhaps saving their soul at the beginning of this turbulent century' - Tyehimba Jess, Poetry Foundation
You may also be interested in...
ReviewsView all Sign In To Write A Review
“Chilling, tragic yet inspiring”
Subtitled “A Daughter’s Memoir” this is an account which needed to be shared by ex US Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winning Natasha Trethewey. In 1985, when Natasha was nineteen her mother, Gwen Grimmette, was... More
“Poignant and moving memoir”
This is a memoir full of love and loss tracing Natasha's early life as a mixed race child in 1960s America through to her mother's murder. It is immensely moving, a poem of pain, through which Natasha's... More
Memorial Drive is a lyrical journey down the memory lane during which Natasha Trethewey comes to terms with loss of her mother who was killed by her second husband. Trethewey as a child of black woman and white man... More
Please sign in to write a review
Sign In / Register
Download the Waterstones App
Would you like to proceed to the App store to download the Waterstones App?