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All the Lost Girls: Confessions of a Southern Daughter (Deep South Books)by Patricia Foster
Synopses & Reviews
Patricia Foster's lyrical yet often painful memoir explores
the life of a white middle-class girl who rew up in rural south Alabama
in the 1950s and 1960s, a time and place that did not tolerate deviation
from traditional gender roles. Her mother raised Foster and her sister
as "honorary boys," girls with the ambition of men but the temperament
An unhappy, intelligent woman who kept a heartbreaking secret
from everyone close to her, Foster's mother was driven by a repressed rage
that fed her obsession for middle-class respectability.
By the time Foster reached age fifteen, her efforts to
reconcile the contradictory expectations that she be at once ambitious
and restrained had left her nervous and needy inside even while she tried
to cultivate the appearance of the model student, sister, and daughter.
It was only a psychological and physical breakdown that helped her to realize
that she couldn't save her driven, complicated mother and must struggle
instead for both understanding and autonomy.
Book News Annotation:
Foster (English, University of Iowa) weaves together the life of a mother and daughter caught in the web of the mother's ambition in this memoir of a white, middle-class girl who grew up in rural south Alabama in the 1950s and 1960s. The time and place did not tolerate deviation from traditional gender roles, yet her mother raised Foster and her sister as girls with the ambitions of men but the temperament of women. Lacks a subject index.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This powerful memoir turns a critical yet loving eye on the sometimes
volatile culture of the South and the relationships between southern mothers
About the Author
Patricia Foster is an Associate Professor
of English at the University of Iowa. She is editor of Minding the Body: Women Writers on Body and Soul and Sister to Sister: Women Write About the Unbreakable Bond and co-editor of The Healing Circle.
What Our Readers Are Saying
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