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Descrição da editora
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 child’s struggle simply to be.
In his second memoir, Stringer (Grand Central Winter) retraces a troubled 1960s New York City childhood, one full of hope and promise that deteriorated into years of emotional pain. Born out of wedlock, Stringer and his brother lived with their financially struggling mother until bills overcame her, compelling her to turn them over to foster care. Stringer describes how, as a youngster, he fought other kids, kicked over desks and bad-mouthed instructors, never questioning his school counselors when they said he was full of anger. He questioned the difference between his black world and that of the white, "normal" one, where hate and intolerance seemed usual. Stringer was committed for two years to a school for at-risk children, where his Stringer's reputation for having a wicked temper followed him. Springer's lean prose renders his mother as a resourceful, determined woman who buys her rageful son a punching bag to vent his anger. Only through poetry and art did Springer find outlets for self-expression and a fresh start for the reminder of his youth (until his adult crash with drug addiction). Springer deftly tells a believable, candid and vivid tale of a person scarred by his past.