Low Road: A Scottish Family Memoir

Overview

Writes Valerie Miner in this elegant and compassionate account of her family's migration from Edinburgh's tenements across the world. The Low Road explores location and dislocation in a large, poverty-stricken Scottish family. Focusing on the life journeys of her grandmother, her mother, and herself, Miner searches for truth about family members, unveiling family secrets and missing histories. This powerful and moving memoir is a dramatic passage through poverty, immigration, ...
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Overview

Writes Valerie Miner in this elegant and compassionate account of her family's migration from Edinburgh's tenements across the world. The Low Road explores location and dislocation in a large, poverty-stricken Scottish family. Focusing on the life journeys of her grandmother, her mother, and herself, Miner searches for truth about family members, unveiling family secrets and missing histories. This powerful and moving memoir is a dramatic passage through poverty, immigration, and national and sexual identity.

Utterly engrossing, The Low Road navigates between family fable and fact as Miner leads us through her discoveries about back-street abortion and tuberculosis, orphanhood, exile, estrangement, and reconciliation to reach the place of acceptance and understanding.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870136405
  • Publisher: Michigan State University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2002
  • Pages: 259
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Valerie Miner is the award-winning author of thirteen books, including Abundant Light, Range of Light, A Walking Fire, Winter's Edge, and Blood Sisters. She has been published in The Village Voice, The Nation, Prairie Schooner, Ploughshares, Salmagundi, and many other journals. Her stories and essays have appeared in more than fifty anthologies. She has won the 2005 McKnight Artist Fellowship; Valerie was a 2000 Fulbright Senior Scholar to India. She has won fellowships and awards from The Rockefeller Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The NEA, The Jerome Foundation, The Heinz Foundation, The Australia Council Literary Arts Board and numerous other sources. She has had Fulbright Fellowships to Tunisia, India and Indonesia. Miner is Professor Emerita, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and is now an artist-in-residence and professor at Stanford University. She travels internationally giving readings, lectures and workshops. She lives in San Francisco and Mendocino County, California.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xv
Preface xvii
Introduction xxi
I.
1. Daniel, 1865-1897 3
2. Mae, 1895 9
3. Mary, "Tomorrow" 13
4. Valerie, "From Tenement to Castle" 19
II.
5. Daniel, 1896 25
6. Mary, "Sketchbook of Edinburgh" 27
7. Valerie, "Legacy" 33
III.
8. Mae, 1896 39
9. Chorus, "Family Conversation" 43
10. Mary, "Ship's Manifest" 45
IV.
11. Mae, 1897-1904 51
12. Mary, "On Her Way" 55
13. Valerie, "Red Shoes Mama" 65
V.
14. Daniel, 1906-1907 71
15. Mary, "New World Diary" 73
16. Valerie, "My Life with the Windsors" 77
VI.
17. Daniel, 1907-1908 87
18. Mary, "Night Lights at Earth Central" 89
19. Valerie, "View from the Escalator" 97
VII.
20. Mae, 1909-1914 103
21. Mary, "New Jersey/New Jersey" 109
22. Valerie, "Slut with a Vacuum" 119
VIII.
23. Mae, 1916 125
24. Valerie, "A Habit of Vanishing" 129
25. Mary, "Learning To Swim" 133
IX.
26. Mae, 1917 143
27. Valerie, "Ghostwriter" 147
28. Mary, "The Light Should Last Forever" 151
X.
29. Daniel, 1917 167
30. Valerie, "A Scottish Opera" 173
31. Mary, "Yesterday" 183
XI.
32. Daniel, 1920 193
33. Valerie, "Ritual Meals" 201
34. Valerie, "Slipped Lives" 207
XII.
35. Daniel, 1925 215
36. Mary and M.Q.S., "The Last Page" 223
37. Valerie, "White Lunch" 225
XIII.
38. Family Reunion, 1860s-1990s 237
39. Valerie, "Thistles in California" 243
40. Valerie, "A Spare Umbrella" 253
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