Sleepaway School: Stories from a Boy's Life

Sleepaway School: Stories from a Boy's Life

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Overview

Like his brother before him, Stringer was surrendered to foster care, shortly after birth, by his unwed and underemployed mother—a common practice for unmarried women in mid-century America. Less common was that she returned six years later to reclaim her children. Rather than leading to a happy ending, though, this is where Stringer's story begins. The clash of being poor and black in an affluent, largely white New York suburb begins to foment pain and rage which erupts, more often than not, when he is at school. One violent episode results in his expulsion from the sixth grade and his subsequent three-year stint at Hawthorne, the "sleepaway school" of the title.

What follows is an intensely personal, American journey: a universal story of childhood where childhood universals are absent. We experience how a child fashions his life out of the materials given to him, however threadbare. This is a "boy-meets-world" story, the chronicle of one child’s struggle simply to be.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781583224786
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
Publication date: 01/01/2004
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.73(w) x 8.53(h) x 0.86(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

LEE STRINGER's journey from childhood homelessness in the ’60s, to adult homelessness in the ’80s, to his present career as a writer and lecturer, as told in Sleepaway School and Grand Central Winter, is one of the great odysseys of contemporary American life and letters. Stringer is the only board member of Project Renewal who is also a former patient of the facility. He is the two-time recipient of the Washington Irving Award and, in 2005, a Lannan Foundation Residency. He is a former editor of and columnist for Street News. His essays and articles have appeared in a variety of other publications, including the Nation, the New York Times, and Newsday. He lives in Mamaroneck, New York, where he also serves on the board of the Mamaroneck Public Libraries.

Table of Contents

Forewordix
Prefacexi
1Three fatherless sons walking1
2The thing is5
3At the back of the lot9
4My mother has a Victrola15
5When the cops get to21
6I do just as the cops say25
7The next morning31
8We're all in the auditorium35
9It's a Friday45
10First, there is51
11For most of its history57
12They are short one63
13We're in the van73
14My mother brings along81
15... Our day89
16They took me95
17All of us101
18Every Tuesday107
19This new kid. This Walter113
20Red-haired119
21Steve has pictures. Sexy pictures123
22Curiosity and urgency127
23I've begun to halfways suspect131
24I think it's stepping back141
25If I peer through149
26I don't go back157
27A week before163
28On the inside171
29We're down177
30The flu183
31It's around midnight, and193
32A Friday201
33Princess211
34There's a big219
About the Author227

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Sleepaway School: Stories from a Boy's Life 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The compassion as well as the honesty with which this incredibly good writer brings, not only to his boyhood self, but to all the 'players' in his life is an inspiration. This book would be great High School required reading along with House of Sand to help us help our children to understand how it feels to live in this culture if you are not white, moneyed and otherwise 'mainstream'.