Tale of a Sky-Blue Dress

Thylias Moss, Author William Morrow & Company $23 (259p) ISBN 978-0-380-97550-1
""Splendor is not defined by tyranny, for I knew joy before I knew anything else,"" writes award-winning poet Moss (Last Chance for the Tarzan Holler; Forecasts, Feb. 23), whose gift for language permeates her memoir. She explores what she calls the opposing forces of good and evil that dominated her early years. Her mother, who was employed as a maid, and her father, a factory worker, lavished love and attention on their only child. But after the family moved to Ohio from the South when Moss was five, she was subjected, over a four-year period, to brutalization from Lytta, her 13-year-old baby-sitter. Moss, who never revealed Lytta's sadistic behavior to her parents, coped by surrendering to this victimization and keeping it emotionally distant from the rest of her family life. According to her, this initial surrender was followed by her later willingness to submit to cruel treatment from a girlfriend and from her first boyfriend, who forced her into a sexual relationship that resulted in an abortion. Moss credits her emergence into a happy marriage and a productive writing life to the capacity for joy that was also nurtured in her childhood. Author tour. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/03/1998
Release date: 08/01/1998
Paperback - 274 pages - 978-0-380-79362-4
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