A Memory Unbound
heartfelt memoir of a daughter who summons up the ghost of
deeply felt memoir is a journey through family history, feminist
insight, and southern mythology. In it a daughter reflects
on the complicated and volatile love she and her father shared.
Shirley Jean Abbott grew up in Hot Springs, Arkansas, in the
1940s and 50s and was the beloved daughter of Alfred Bemont
Abbott, affectionately known as “Hat.” Hat wasn’t
a bookmaker in the literary sense, even though he allowed
Shirley’s mother to believe as much while they were
dating. Rather, his craft was gambling, and his business was
the corruption, which put food on the table and rabbit coats
in the closet, Abbott remembers the kind and attentive father
who spent nights reading to her. He alone is responsible for
opening the door to a world of language and literature for
her. And she ran with it. Against her father’s wishes,
after graduation she headed for New York City. In the end,
the girl he had nurtured into an independent and intelligent
young woman had outgrown the small town where she grew up.
The Bookmaker’s Daughter was originally published
by Ticknor and Fields in 1992 and was a Book of the Month
marvelously readable book.”
Vann Woodward, author of The Burden of Southern History
book sings with fierce love for the flawed patriarch with
whom she finally comes to terms.”
rare thing in American literature. . . . an honest daughter’s-eye
view of a nurturing father.”
Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times
is a sure bet that sections will be anthologized as models
of good writing. In addition…this book will likely grace
reading lists of women’s studies classes nationwide.
The book deserves every bit of this attention.”
lives in Manhattan and works as a freelance writer and editor.
She is also the author of Womenfolks: Growing Up Down
South and Love’s Apprentice: The Romantic Education
of a Modern Woman. In 2005 she was awarded the Porter
Fund Literary Prize, presented annually to an Arkansas writer
who has accomplished a substantial and impressive body of
work that merits enhanced recognition.
6" x 9"
$16.95 Paper (s)