Angela the Upside-Down Girl: And Other Domestic Travels

Emily Hiestand, Author Beacon Press (MA) $23 (230p) ISBN 978-0-8070-7128-1
Although she now lives with her husband in Cambridge, Mass., several of the engrossing memories in this collection of reprinted essays deal with the author's 1950's childhood in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The town was the largest storehouse of weapons-grade uranium, and her father was a lawyer for the Atomic Energy Commission. Hiestand (The Very Rich Hours) relates the unusual experience of growing up in ""atom town,"" as well as her affinity for the eccentric rural Alabama relatives she and her brothers were taken to visit on long automobile trips in their parents' Chrysler. The title piece is an amusing description of how Hiestand first moved out of the South to a Boston coastal town and attended a performance given by her neighbor, Angela, who was a striptease artist in Boston's infamous ""Combat Zone."" Of particular interest is Hiestand's account of how she decided to become a white member of Union, a black church in Boston where she found good will and community. Hiestand's book is compelling for its calm. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/29/1998
Release date: 07/01/1998
Paperback - 244 pages - 978-0-8070-7129-8
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