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Overview

Darkroom: A Family Exposure is Jill Christman's gripping, funny, and wise account of her first thirty years. Although her story runs the gamut of dramatic life events, including childhood sexual abuse, accidental death, and psychological trauma, Christman's poignant memoir is much more than a litany of horrors; instead, it is an open-eyed, wide-hearted, and good-humored look at a life worth surviving.

Through a shifting narrative of text and photographs, Christman explores the intersection of image and memory and considers the ways photographs force us to rework our original memories. Darkroom is a page-turning and disturbing journey that begins with an older brother's near fatal burning and progresses through a counterculture childhood in which her free-spirited mother moves the family to an isolated mountaintop. The story advances into an adolescence of eating disorders and barely remembered sex, slams into a young adulthood of love, literature, drugs, death, and therapists, and ends soon after a beloved uncle bleeds to death in a federal prison while serving a ten-year sentence for growing marijuana.

Never sentimental, Jill Christman is brutally honest and surprisingly funny. She deftly blends narrative, quoted materials, her uncle's letters, and her father's photography to create a family saga that is both heartbreaking and exhilarating.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780820341743
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Publication date: 07/01/2011
Series: The Sue William Silverman Prize for Creative Nonfiction Series , #8
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Jill Christman is the author of two memoirs, a forthcoming collection—If This Were Fiction: A Love Story in Essays (University of Nebraska Press, 2022)—and essays in magazines such as Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, and Iron Horse Literary Review. A 2020 NEA Fellow and senior editor for River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative, she teaches at Ball State University. Visit her at www.jillchristman.com and on Twitter @jill_christman.

LYNDA J. MORGAN is Professor of History and Africana Studies at Mount Holyoke College. She is author of Emancipation in Virginia’s Tobacco Belt (1992) and Known for My Work: African American Ethics from Slavery to Freedom (2016). Her other publications include an article in the Journal of African-American History and entries for the Encyclopedia of Colonial and Revolutionary America (1988) and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography (1990).

Jill Christman is the author of two memoirs, a forthcoming collection—If This Were Fiction: A Love Story in Essays (University of Nebraska Press, 2022)—and essays in magazines such as Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, and Iron Horse Literary Review. A 2020 NEA Fellow and senior editor for River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative, she teaches at Ball State University. Visit her at www.jillchristman.com and on Twitter @jill_christman.
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