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The Glass Castle: A Memoir
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About the Author

Jeannette Walls graduated from Barnard College and was a journalist in New York. Her memoir, The Glass Castle, has been a New York Times bestseller for more than six years. She is also the author of the instant New York Times bestsellers The Silver Star and Half Broke Horses, which was named one of the ten best books of 2009 by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. Walls lives in rural Virginia with her husband, the writer John Taylor.

Reviews

Freelance writer Walls doesn't pull her punches. She opens her memoir by describing looking out the window of her taxi, wondering if she's "overdressed for the evening" and spotting her mother on the sidewalk, "rooting through a Dumpster." Walls's parents-just two of the unforgettable characters in this excellent, unusual book-were a matched pair of eccentrics, and raising four children didn't conventionalize either of them. Her father was a self-taught man, a would-be inventor who could stay longer at a poker table than at most jobs and had "a little bit of a drinking situation," as her mother put it. With a fantastic storytelling knack, Walls describes her artist mom's great gift for rationalizing. Apartment walls so thin they heard all their neighbors? What a bonus-they'd "pick up a little Spanish without even studying." Why feed their pets? They'd be helping them "by not allowing them to become dependent." While Walls's father's version of Christmas presents-walking each child into the Arizona desert at night and letting each one claim a star-was delightful, he wasn't so dear when he stole the kids' hard-earned savings to go on a bender. The Walls children learned to support themselves, eating out of trashcans at school or painting their skin so the holes in their pants didn't show. Buck-toothed Jeannette even tried making her own braces when she heard what orthodontia cost. One by one, each child escaped to New York City. Still, it wasn't long before their parents appeared on their doorsteps. "Why not?" Mom said. "Being homeless is an adventure." Agent, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Not a blissful childhood: MSNBC.com contributor Walls's alcoholic dad stole the grocery money, and her mother would rather paint than parent. Scribner's big book for March. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"Walls has joined the company of writers such as Mary Karr and Frank McCourt who have been able to transform their sad memories into fine art."--People "Extraordinary."--Time "Each memory is more incredible than the last... That Walls recounts them so well and in such detail is our good fortune."--The Plain Dealer "On the eighth day, when God was handing out whining privileges, he came upon Jeannette Walls and said, 'For you, an unlimited lifetime supply.' Apparently, Walls declined His kind offer."--Chicago Tribune "Charles Dickens's scenes of poverty and hardship are no more audacious and no more provocative than those in the pages of this stunning memoir."--The Atlanta Journal-Constitution "The Glass Castle is nothing short of spectacular."--Entertainment Weekly "The Glass Castle is the kind of story that keeps you awake long after the rest of the house has fallen asleep."--Vogue "Some people are born storytellers. Some lives are worth telling. The best memoirs happen when these two conditions converge. In The Glass Castle, they have."--New York Newsday "Walls has a God-given knack for spinning a yarn, and The Glass Castle is nothing short of spectacular."--Entertainment Weekly

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