My First Thirty Years: A Memoir

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5.28 X 7.95 X 1.02 inches | 0.75 pounds

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About the Author

EDNA GERTRUDE BEASLEY (1892-1955) was an American writer and memoirist. A feminist, her controversial 1925 autobiography, My First Thirty Years, received some favorable reviews but was also suppressed, and she soon after disappeared.

"From its unforgettable first sentence, this brilliant, bitter memoir of West Texas girlhood in the 1920s sears itself into the reader's imagination. Published by an avant-garde Paris press in 1925, banned, forgotten, remembered, treasured, buried again, and finally made available in this new edition, Gertrude Beasley's memoir is invaluable to our understandings of modernism, feminism, sexual violence, and Texas history. Beasley is a born storyteller. I could not put this book down." -- Lisa Moore, Archibald A. Hill Professor of English and Professor of Women's and Gender Studies, The University of Texas at Austin
"We should all be as fierce, loud, and convinced of our own self-worth as Gertrude Beasley was. This story of a justifiably angry woman living ahead of the world she lived in will resonate deeply today." -- Soraya Chemaly, activist and award-winning author of Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger
"Gertrude Beasley wrote one of the great modern autobiographies, but it was immediately suppressed. Widely available at last, it is a shocking but moving feminist exploration of growing up in America." -- Bert Almon, author of This Stubborn Self: Texas Autobiographies
"My First Thirty Years is a brutally graphic personal memoir that was censored, suppressed, and nearly forgotten. This reprint will finally enable people outside of library special collections to read and honor this memoir by an indominable and almost erased Texas heroine." -- Dr. Sylvia Grider, co-author of Texas Women Writers & Senior Professor Emerita, Texas A&M University
"Gertrude Beasley's 1925 memoir grabs the reader by the arm and holds tight, speaking with a voice as compelling as if she had just put down her pen this morning. Feminist, socialist, and acute observer of both herself and the world around her, Beasley gives us stories that illuminate the costs of poverty and of being a woman. To read My First Thirty Years is to be in conversation with an extraordinary mind." -- Anne Gardiner Perkins, author of Yale Needs Women
"In a voice as compelling as it is sinister, Gertrude Beasley recounts a hardscrabble upbringing, transcending time and place to bring to life her story of overcoming brutal circumstances in the search for a different way to live--even if her own success was partial. This long-banned memoir is one of the best coming-of-age stories about being poor and a woman--another way of saying, being human--in 20th century Texas. My First Thirty Years is a damn good book, and it deserves a wide audience." -- Mary Helen Specht, author of Migratory Animals
""This fierce chronicle of one woman's determination to confront insurmountable odds in the fight for women'srights is a template of righteous dissent against many persistent forms of social injustice." Booklist" -- Booklist
"A long-overdue moment of reckoning.... a rich gift to the Texas literary canon." -- Texas Monthly
"The timing could not be more fortuitous: My First Thirty Years provides a foundational exploration of the Lone Star State's treatment of women, which, if not uniquely brutal, shows real ambition in a crowded field." -- The New York Review of Books