Welcome to Shirley: A Memoir from an Atomic Town

Welcome to Shirley: A Memoir from an Atomic Town

by Kelly McMasters
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Welcome to Shirley: A Memoir from an Atomic Town by Kelly McMasters

Shirley seemed to be doomed from the beginning. Founded by a Vaudevillian huckster who touted it as a seaside haven despite the sand bar that blocks access to the shore, the town has been plagued by one disaster after another—a UFO, a childhood cancer cluster, and a mysterious federal nuclear laboratory in nearby Brookhaven that leaked toxic nuclear and chemical waste into the aquifer from which the residents unknowingly drew their well water.

This is Kelly McMasters' account of growing up in a cursed town and loving it anyway, and of a girl's awakening to tragedy and to a sense of mission. Told in a deliciously engaging voice, Welcome to Shirley balances the bitter with the sweet, the funny with the infuriating, in an unforgettable story of working class Long Island.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781586486983
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 04/28/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Kelly McMasters' essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post Magazine, Newsday, Elle Décor, Metropolis, and Time Out New York, among others. She teaches writing at Columbia University and mediabistro.com and is the co-director of the KGB Nonfiction Reading Series in the East Village. She lives in Manhattan and northeast Pennsylvania with her husband, the painter Mark Milroy.

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Welcome to Shirley: A Memoir from an Atomic Town 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That's not even me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She sat on her couch with a lit cigarette in her mouth and turned on some punk music, and went through the station
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kgranelli More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down!! The book starts out as a poignant story of a typical Long Island childhood (one that touched my heart and filled me with memories of my own childhood on Long Island), that, by chapter 3, runs parallel to the story of the Brookhaven National Laboratory and its negative effects to our environment. The story is both heartwarming and chilling and McMaster's writing style is captivating!!! I have referred this book to several people already who also felt as I did about it! What a story!!! It makes one feel the need to get involved in environmental advocacy.