Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award
Shortlisted for the 2021 Carnegie Medal in Non-Fiction
At age nineteen, Natasha Trethewey had her world turned upside down when her former stepfather shot and killed her mother. Heartbreakingly clear-eyed and tender, Memorial Drive is a daughter’s act of love – and an unflinching excavation of the wounds that never heal.
Trethewey writes elegantly, trenchantly, intimately as well about the fraught history of the south and what it means live at the intersection of America’s struggle between Blackness and whiteness. And what, in our troubled republic, is a subject more evergreen? ~ Mitchell S. Jackson
A meditation on race, and class, and grief… Uplifting, but just wrenching ~ Barack Obama
Memorial Drive by Natasha Tretheway
Natasha Trethewey was born in Mississippi in the 60s to a Black mother and a white father. When she was six, Natasha’s parents divorced, and she and her mother moved to Atlanta. There, her mother met the man who would become her second husband, and Natasha’s stepfather.
While she was still a child, Natasha decided that she would not tell her mother about what her stepfather did when she was not there: the quiet bullying and control, the games of cat and mouse. Her mother kept her own secrets, secrets that grew harder to hide as Natasha came of age.
When Natasha was nineteen and away at college, her stepfather shot her mother dead on the driveway outside their home.
With penetrating insight and a searing voice that moves from the wrenching to the elegiac, Memorial Drive is a compelling and searching look at a shared human experience of sudden loss and absence, and a piercing glimpse at the enduring ripple effects of white racism and domestic abuse. Luminous, urgent, and visceral, it cements Trethewey’s position as one of the most important voices in America today.