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From the dazzlingly original Pulitzer Prize-winning poet hailed for her Âextraordinary range and ambitionÂ (The New York Times Book Review): a quietly potent memoir that explores coming-of-age and the meaning of home against a complex backdrop of race, faith, and the unbreakable bond between a mother and daughter.The youngest of five children, Tracy K. Smith was raised with limitless affection and a firm belief in God by a stay-at-home mother and an engineer father. But just as Tracy is about to leave home for college, her mother is diagnosed with cancer, a condition she accepts as part of GodÂs plan. Ordinary Light is the story of a young woman struggling to fashion her own understanding of belief, loss, history, and what it means to be black in America. In lucid, clear prose, Smith interrogates her childhood in suburban California, her first collision with independence at Harvard, and her Alabama-bornÂ parentsÂÂ recollections ofÂ their own youth in theÂ Civil Rights era. These dizzying juxtapositionsÂof her familyÂs past, her own comfortable present, and the promise of her futureÂwill in due course compel Tracy to act on her passions for love and Âecstatic possibility,Â and her desire to become a writer. Shot through with exquisite lyricism, wry humor, and an acute awareness of the beauty of everyday life, Ordinary Light is a gorgeous kaleidoscope of self and family, one that skillfully combines a childÂs and teenagerÂs perceptions with adult retrospection. Here is a universal story of being and becoming, a classic portrait of the ways we find and lose ourselves amid the places we call home.From the Hardcover edition.
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