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The child of an alcoholic father and an eccentric artist mother discusses her family's nomadic upbringing, during which she and her siblings fended for themselves while their parents outmaneuvered bill collectors and the authorities.
About this book
Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever. Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home. What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms. For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to MSNBC.com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.
He's made a profound connection and difference to a multitude of lives. God bless Morrissey and all who ever dared to sail forth, with or without a compass' - Annie Lennox 'A rococo triumph' - Independent 'Brilliant and relentless.
About this book
The Record Breaking Number One Bestseller With new images and a full discography 'With a life steeped in the acute articulation of what it feels like to be an 'outsider's outsider'. . . Mr M continues to stir and shake us up. He's made a profound connection and difference to a multitude of lives. God bless Morrissey and all who ever dared to sail forth, with or without a compass' - Annie Lennox 'A rococo triumph' - Independent 'Brilliant and relentless. Genius, really' - Douglas Coupland 'A beautifully measured prose style that combines a lilting, poetic turn of phrase and acute quality of observation' - The Telegraph 'Funnier than the Iliad' - BBC Radio 4