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The Glass Castle: A Memoir

by

The Glass Castle: A Memoir Cover

ISBN13: 9780743247535
ISBN10: 0743247531
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $6.95!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

From Our Staff:

When Jeannette Walls was four years old, her father threw her into the middle of a deep pond and said, "Sink or swim." This is just one example of the derelict and dangerous childhood created for her by her nomadic, narcissistic mother and brilliant but damaged alcoholic father. Though my heart did break for her and her siblings, Walls mends all with her warmth and compassion throughout.
Recommended by our staff at Powells.com

Review:

"Walls's journalistic bare-bones style makes for a chilling, wrenching, incredible testimony of childhood neglect. A pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps, thoroughly American story." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Jeannette Walls has carved a story with precision and grace out of one of the most chaotic, heartbreaking childhoods ever to be set down on the page. This deeply affecting memoir is a triumph in every possible way, and it does what all good books should: it affirms our faith in the human spirit." Dani Shapiro, author of Family History

Review:

"The Glass Castle is the saga of the restless, indomitable Walls family, led by a grand eccentric and his tempestuous artist wife. Jeannette Walls has survived poverty, fires, and near starvation to triumph. She has written this amazing tale with honesty and love." Patricia Bosworth, author of Anything Your Little Heart Desires and Diane Arbus: A Biography

Review:

"Just read the first pages of The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, and I defy you not to go on. It's funny and sad and quirky and loving. I was incredibly touched by it." Dominick Dunne, author of The Way We Lived Then: Recollections of a Well-Known Name Dropper

Synopsis:

In the tradition of Mary Karr's The Liars' Club and Rick Bragg's All Over But the Shouting, Jeannette Walls has written a stunning and life-affirming memoir about surviving a willfully impoverished, eccentric and severely misguided family.

Synopsis:

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.

Synopsis:

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.

Special Features:

About the Author

For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her 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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

Annie Oaklee, September 1, 2009 (view all comments by Annie Oaklee)
How can this be a heartbreaking and heartwarming story at the same time? Jeanette Walls skillfully makes it so. Jeanette is a survivor and has told a true story that can, at times, be shocking but is still full of love.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
Luigi, December 22, 2008 (view all comments by Luigi)
The remarkable autobiography of a girl who grew up in extreme poverty and survived. Her alcoholic father and free spirited (if not emotionally disturbed) mother managed to neglect her and her siblings while justifying their conduct with believable words of homely wisdom. Jeannette succeeded while her mother still lives on the streets of New York. You may find yourself dumbfounded by the life of this vagabond family, but you will be glad you read this book. For more, go on www.youtube.com and search for "Glass Castle." You will find a video of the author and her mother.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(10 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)
wmcarmichael, April 24, 2007 (view all comments by wmcarmichael)
Such an amazing story of such hard times, and the focus of a child, I loved reading this book!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(11 of 22 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 6 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743247535
Author:
Walls, Jeannette
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Author:
Blow, Charles M.
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Dysfunctional Families
Subject:
Adult Children of Alcoholics
Subject:
Homeless persons
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts - Television Personalities
Subject:
Poor
Subject:
Childhood Memoir
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Editors, Journalists, Publishers
Subject:
Problem families -- United States.
Subject:
Children of alcoholics -- United States.
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
March 2005
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 19.215 oz

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Health and Self-Help » Recovery and Addiction » General
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Memoirs
History and Social Science » Sociology » Poverty

The Glass Castle: A Memoir Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9780743247535 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Walls's journalistic bare-bones style makes for a chilling, wrenching, incredible testimony of childhood neglect. A pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps, thoroughly American story."
"Review" by , "Jeannette Walls has carved a story with precision and grace out of one of the most chaotic, heartbreaking childhoods ever to be set down on the page. This deeply affecting memoir is a triumph in every possible way, and it does what all good books should: it affirms our faith in the human spirit."
"Review" by , "The Glass Castle is the saga of the restless, indomitable Walls family, led by a grand eccentric and his tempestuous artist wife. Jeannette Walls has survived poverty, fires, and near starvation to triumph. She has written this amazing tale with honesty and love."
"Review" by , "Just read the first pages of The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, and I defy you not to go on. It's funny and sad and quirky and loving. I was incredibly touched by it."
"Synopsis" by , In the tradition of Mary Karr's The Liars' Club and Rick Bragg's All Over But the Shouting, Jeannette Walls has written a stunning and life-affirming memoir about surviving a willfully impoverished, eccentric and severely misguided family.
"Synopsis" by ,
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.
"Synopsis" by , 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.

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