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Pink Houses and Family Taverns (Illinois)by Becky Bradway
Synopses & Reviews
..". Becky Bradway writes compellingly about the place where she was raised and still lives, but she also knows that the hidden component of place is time and its ceaseless motion and the motion it spawns in all of us. On these many stable planes, we are always passing through."
--from the Foreword by Michael Martone
Much of what inspires Pink Houses and Family Taverns, a collection of creative nonfiction by Becky Bradway, is the author's upbringing in rural southern Illinois. Coming of age among a family of carpenters, housewives, and factory workers, Bradway works to get an education and to build a different kind of life for herself (in spite of social pressures to "keep her in her place"). Her dreams of becoming a writer and a professor often run head-on with the hometown's expectations that she keep her mouth shut like a "proper girl," and with the university's expectations that she toe a more formal, conservative line.
The tension Bradway feels about "Being From There" permeates her memoir, as she negotiates the transitions between childhood and adulthood, rural life and urban life, ignorance and sophistication. She debates important life decisions and presents us with a vivid array of characters--family, friends, students--who have made an impression on her.
Bradway writes in a conversational style that is often humorous and occasionally sardonic; and she approaches her subjects with sincerity, open-mindedness, and compassion. The essays are complemented by a selection of black-and-white photographs of the region and its inhabitants.
About the Author
Becky Bradway is a college professor and creative writer whose creative nonfiction essays and short stories have appeared in DoubleTake, North American Review, and American Fiction, among other publications. She lives in Normal, Illinois with husband, three children, and assorted pets. After working as an editor, secretary, janitor, Dairy Queen server, and UPS clerk, she now teaches creative writing and U.S. Studies at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois.
Raymond Bial, professional photographer and author, has published more than thirty critically acclaimed books of photographs for children and adults. These include a series of books on Native American tribes, and other titles of interest, most recently including A Handful of Dirt, The Ghost of Honeymoon Creek, Ghost Towns of the American West, and One-Room School. He lives with his wife and three children in Urbana, Illinois.
Katharine E. Wright, a former zookeeper, has taught creative writing, ESL, and children's literature at several universities. She now lives in State College, Pennsylvania with her husband and daughter.
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