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Sleepaway Schoolby Lee Stringer
Synopses & Reviews
“In Sleepaway School, a boy becomes a man. The way Lee Stringer tells it, that is by itself more than enough for an enthralling story.”—Kurt Vonnegut, from the foreword
“In a riveting memoir, the author of the acclaimed Grand Central Winter: Stories from the Street (1998) goes back to his 1960s troubled childhood as a foster kid growing up poor and black in a wealthy white neighborhood in upstate New York. . . . Told in more than 30 connected stories, the eloquent, present-tense narrative has the immediacy of Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life. . . . It’s an unforgettable coming of age.”—Hazel Rochman, Booklist (starred review)
“Lee Stringer proves that talent travels. In Sleepaway School, he hones the sharp wit and keen perception that made Grand Central Winter so memorable to create a lyrical and deeply moving tribute to a troubled childhood. Most memoirists are well out of gas by their second book; Stringer is taking off and heading for the clouds. He is an authentic original voice.”—Peter Blauner, author of The Intruder and The Last Good Day.
“The most surprising thing about Sleepaway School is that it is not grim. In fact, much of it is lighthearted and free from bitterness. Caverly’s voice is appealing, and his innocence and helplessness are convincingly conveyed.”—Rocky Mountain News
Lee Stringer is the author of the acclaimed Grand Central Winter: Stories from the Street, a New York Times Notable Book and USA Today Top Ten pick, which has been translated into a dozen languages. He also is the author, with Kurt Vonnegut, of Like Shaking Hands With God: A Conversation About Writing. He currently serves on three nonprofit boards: Project Renewal in New York City, the Friends of the Mamaroneck Library, and the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester.
A "Boy Meets World" story from the acclaimed author of Grand Central Winter.
Like his brother before him, Stringer was surrendered to foster care, shortly after birth, by his unwed and underemployed mother—a common practice for unmarried women in mid-century America. Less common was that she returned six years later to reclaim her children. Rather than leading to a happy ending, though, this is where Stringer's story begins. The clash of being poor and black in an affluent, largely white New York suburb begins to foment pain and rage which erupts, more often than not, when he is at school. One violent episode results in his expulsion from the sixth grade and his subsequent three-year stint at Hawthorne, the "sleepaway school" of the title.
What follows is an intensely personal, American journey: a universal story of childhood where childhood universals are absent. We experience how a child fashions his life out of the materials given to him, however threadbare. This is a "boy-meets-world" story, the chronicle of one childs struggle simply to be.
"Sleepaway School" is Stringer's recounting of his years at Hawthorne Cedar Knolls--a school for kids at risk--and the events that led up to them. This is a "boy-meets-world" story, the chronicle of one child's struggle simply to be.
About the Author
Author of the acclaimed Grand Central Winter: Stories From the Street (Seven Stories Press, 1998), which has been translated into eighteen languages, and for which Stringer appeared on Oprah, as well as in national media. Stringer also is the author, with Kurt Vonnegut, of Like Shaking Hands With God: a Conversation on Writing (1999).
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