A Childhood: The Biography of a Place

A Childhood: The Biography of a Place



The Pequod Review:

Harry Crews (1935-2012) was born in Bacon County, Georgia, and A Childhood describes his memories of the first seven years of his life. Crews's talent is to not only focus on his specific experiences, but also the richer details — the speech patterns, the oral legends passed down, the broken families, and the culture of violence:

Nearly everybody I knew had something missing, a finger cut off, a toe split, an ear half-chewed away, an eye clouded with blindness from a glancing fence staple. And if they didn’t have something missing, they were carrying scars from barbed wire, or knives, or fishhooks.

Crews takes the despair of the American South and turns it into a masterpiece of a memoir.