Ghostbread (Revised)


Product Details

$22.95  $21.34
University of Georgia Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.4 X 0.7 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

Sonja Livingston has earned a NYFA Fellowship, an Iowa Award, and Pushcart Prize nomination for her nonfiction writing. Her work has appeared in several textbooks on writing, as well as many journals, including the "Iowa Review," "Spoon River Poetry Review," "Alaska Quarterly Review," "AGNI," and others. She holds an M.S. Ed. from SUNY Brockport and an MFA from the University of New Orleans. Livingston teaches creative writing at the University of Memphis.


Exquisite in its details and insights, Ghostbread shows us the invisible undersides of poverty. Sonja Livingston renders this so solidly that we come to understand the roots of despair, and the beauty that can be found in the midst of squalor. In an age when memoir exploits the seamier sides of life, thrusting their authors into the limelight, this book holds back, quietly resisting shock value in favor of understanding.

--Judith Kitchen "author of House on Eccles Road "

Ghostbread weaves together a child's experience of not belonging, the perilous ease of slipping into failure, and the deep love that can flow from even a highly troubled parent. This is rich, sensual storytelling. An amazing debut from a wonderful new writer.

--Dinty W. Moore "author of Between Panic and Desire (American Lives) "

'I know where I came from.' With this declaration, the author of Ghostbread takes us on a journey through a childhood scarred by poverty and graced by love. Like an American version of Angela's Ashes, the book allows us to encounter--and see, taste, and smell it--through the eyes of a beleaguered and intelligent child. We are grateful to be reminded of the human reality at the heart of a world that is all too often hidden in governmental 'poverty indicators, ' and also glad that the author has survived to tell the tale.

--Kathleen Norris "author of Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life "

[A]n absolutely astonishing debut . . . harrowing and hilarious.

--Caroline Leavitt "author of Girls in Trouble "

This moving and inspirational memoir deserves to find the same popularity as Jeannette Walls' The Glass Castle. Told in short vignettes, Sonja Livingston shares what it was like to grow up in poverty in the 1970's. Educators as well as high school students will find many insights about the strength of the individual spirit.

--Judith Repman "University Press Books "

Livingston writes with an understated restraint and paints her past in careful detail. The result is captivating. Ghostbread is a heartrending encounter with an adept essayist.


Livingston reveals the daily challenges poverty-stricken young children face. Her thoughtful testimony sheds new light on a tragic predicament that now affects not only lower-income families, but the entire nation.