You Ain't Got No Easter Clothes: A Memoir

You Ain't Got No Easter Clothes: A Memoir

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by Laura Love
     
 

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Laura Love has an uncanny knack for getting an audience to listen. Today she is beloved by fans around the world for her funk-folksy music. But Love's life wasn't always so good. Growing up in racially troubled Nebraska, Love survived a miserable childhood, shuffling among a mentally unstable mother, foster homes, and orphanages. Despite the odds, Love survived,

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Overview

Laura Love has an uncanny knack for getting an audience to listen. Today she is beloved by fans around the world for her funk-folksy music. But Love's life wasn't always so good. Growing up in racially troubled Nebraska, Love survived a miserable childhood, shuffling among a mentally unstable mother, foster homes, and orphanages. Despite the odds, Love survived, thanks ultimately to her enormous will. You Ain't Got No Easter Clothes is Love's wrenching, shocking, yet hopeful story of the survival of a deeply rooted, but broadly cultured woman.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Love, an African-American singer-songwriter living in Seattle, uses her bluesy, honest singing voice as she writes about her chaotic, troubled childhood in Nebraska with a single mother who suffers from schizophrenia. Depicting a Dickensian world where children's homes are staffed by people who despise children ("Don't puke till I get the bucket, godammit...."), Love is unsparing in her detailed memories of her mother's attempted suicide and the cockroaches they share quarters with in temporary housing. Depending on charities, foster homes and friends, Laura and her sister, Lisa, suffer racism from the nuns at her school and the unpredictable, terrifying temper of their mother. Through a confessional narrative, Love details how her mother gets her period after returning from yet another stint at a mental hospital, and the girls have to hush up her rantings because they are all staying at another foster home. Yet Love writes, "even when I felt all but certain that catastrophe and mishap would define our lives, I believed our situation would improve." She makes it through strong and independent from years working her way through school and engagingly tells her story. Agent, Julie Mayo. (Aug.) Forecast: Adding to the appeal of this book, Love will release a CD of her recordings, each song corresponding with a chapter title-and this combination just might bring her more listeners and readers. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The noted African-American singer/songwriter evokes with insight and a bracing lack of self-pity a childhood spent in foster homes and shelters as her mother struggled to cope with mental illness. Love's debut memoir constitutes a remarkable testimony to the role humor and character played in overcoming the setbacks and hurts of the author's childhood. As she notes in the prologue, Love and elder sister Lisa grew up in the midst of chaos, but despite the racism of 1960s Nebraska, their mother's recurring mental illness, and their chronic poverty, the girls somehow found "humor and hope in the strangest places." Winni, a single parent, told her daughters that their father was dead. When Laura was three, Winni was hospitalized, and the sisters were put in a Children's Home. At this brutal institution, whose staff members were as violent as their charges, the high point of kids' stay was getting to pick out shoes donated by a local charity. Once released, Winni struggled to get her degree, leaving her daughters with a succession of good, bad, and awful babysitters. Then, close to graduation, she tried to hang herself, and the girls were placed in foster care. In a chilling replay of this episode when Laura was 12, Winni made her daughters put nooses around their own necks and the neck of their much-loved cat; the animal's escape encouraged them to remove the nooses and embrace their pet. Love recalls with affectionate appreciation the teachers who encouraged her to sing, to be a gymnast, and later to go to college. She is even grateful to Winni for instilling in her a love of music and books. Initially bitter when she learned that her father was in fact alive, she admits that as she grewolder, it seemed "silly and self-indulgent to spend so much time mourning the deprivation of a life I never had."A gritty but redemptive survivor's story. Agency: Lazear Agency

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781401300111
Publisher:
Hyperion
Publication date:
08/04/2004
Pages:
252
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.69(d)
Age Range:
18 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Laura Love is a singer, songwriter, and bassist who performs to great acclaim around the world. She has released nine CDs, most recently You Ain't Got No Easter Clothes (KOCH Records, KOC-DC-9553), a compilation of songs related to this book. Her music draws on a variety of traditions, including the blues, bluegrass, jazz, gospel, reggae, and country, but she often refers to her pastiche style as "folk-funk," "Afro-Celtic," or "Hip-Appalachian." She lives in Seattle. All of Laura's CDs can be found at www.LauraLove.net and at retail outlets where fine CDs are sold.

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You Ain'T Got No Easter Clothes: A Memoir 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago