Sweet Summer: Growing Up With & Without My Dad

Overview

This acclaimed memoir by Bebe Moore Campbell, the bestselling author of Brothers and Sisters and Singing in the Comeback Choir, recalls the sweet summers spent with her father—an extraordinary man of dreams and inspiration—in the American South of the 1960s.

Bebe Moore Campbell is the author of Brothers and Sisters, Singing in the Comeback Choir, and Your Blues Ain't Like Mine. She is a frequent contributor to NPR's "Morning Edition" and is a ...

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Overview

This acclaimed memoir by Bebe Moore Campbell, the bestselling author of Brothers and Sisters and Singing in the Comeback Choir, recalls the sweet summers spent with her father—an extraordinary man of dreams and inspiration—in the American South of the 1960s.

Bebe Moore Campbell is the author of Brothers and Sisters, Singing in the Comeback Choir, and Your Blues Ain't Like Mine. She is a frequent contributor to NPR's "Morning Edition" and is a contributing editor to Essence magazine.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This insightful tribute to fathers—biological and stand-in—and mothers is told in a series of reminiscences of black writer Campbell's (Successful Women, Angry Men) childhood, which she spent with each of her divorced parents in turn: her mother in Philadelphia and her father, a paraplegic, in rural North Carolina. Campbell's narrative skillfully weaves childhood and adult voices together, showing a healthy respect for the cadences of black English. Her focus is on her changing view of her father as she grows from childhood to adolescence; once a loving but absentee god-like figure, he comes to seem a mortal and flawed human with whom she achieves a loving and mature relationship ("the best part of my father, the jewel stuck deep inside his core, was determination"'). She writes of the transition with the poignant longing of a child and the knowledge of an adult. The book also concerns coming of age black in the civil rights era: summers spent in a South where signs for "colored'' were common and winters in Philadelphia, where Campbell's mother "was absolutely savage about enunciation, pronunciation, speaking correctly, so that they would approve.'' (June)
Library Journal
Describing her childhood in Philadelphia, Campbell gives lie to the stereotypes of black single-parent families. She draws upon her fond memories of a father who was absent but never abandoned her, although she only saw him in the summer. She writes lovingly of her mother and grandmother, who encouraged her every endeavor, providing her with love, support, and the desire to succeed. Most particularly she portrays the rich, multilayered black community—aunts and uncles, friends and neighbors, teachers and clergy—whose warmth, protection, and love gave her the foundation to become the exceptional adult she is. Affectionate, yet honest, this book by a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts and Literature grant is a true celebration of an American childhood.—Andrea Caron Kempf, Johnson Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, Kan.
Chicago Tribune
Mature insight, as well as a deft gift for language, gives this memoir its poignant, honest shape.
New York Daily News
Touching....[A] candid account and loving tribute to a special man.
Nikki Giovanni
A much-needed turning of the kaleidoscope in our view of the black man and the community of which he is a part.
The Washington Post Book World
San Francisco Examiner Chronicle
An uplifting reflection on family love.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345366948
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/19/1990
  • Edition description: REISSUE
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.13 (w) x 7.99 (h) x 0.63 (d)

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