The Last Children of Mill Creek

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Product Details
$18.95  $17.62
Belt Publishing
Publish Date
4.9 X 7.1 X 0.5 inches | 0.02 pounds

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About the Author
Vivian Gibson was raised on Bernard Street in Mill Creek Valley, and has lived in New York City and Liberia. She started writing short stories about her childhood memories after retiring at age 66. Her work has been produced as part of 50in50: Writing Women into Existence, at the Billie Holliday Theater in Brooklyn, and published in The St. Louis Anthology (Belt Publishing, 2019). She lives in St. Louis, Missouri
"The Last Children of Mill Creek is a critical addition to our understanding and preservation of the people who once lived in the thriving community that was annihilated by city leaders beginning 70 years ago."--Chris Naffziger, St. Louis Magazine
"A spare, elegant jewel of a work. ... The reader hears in it echoes of Zora Neale Hurston's rich, sensuous descriptions of rural Black culture in Their Eyes Were Watching God. At other times, Gibson's prose channels Gwendolyn Brooks's quiet attentiveness to the beauty and texture of everyday life in Maud Martha. But the book doesn't fit neatly into any of the more predictable plot formulas that white audiences have come to expect in Black coming-of-age narratives: that is, stories where Blackness is primarily defined by its confrontation (and possible reconciliation) with whiteness.The Last Children of Mill Creek is joyful, nostalgic, mischievous -- a love letter to Gibson's childhood. It contains nary a white character. It is more Speak, Memory than I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings; more The Secret Garden than The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Gibson's guiding literary topos is Black childhood as idyll."--Ellen Wayland-Smith in The Los Angeles Review of Books
"Book of the Year ... Vivid, unpretentious, loaded with resonant detail."--John Williams, First Things
"By declining to add layers of explicit retrospective analysis, [Gibson] makes her childhood world strikingly immediate, and the book's narrative structure reinforces the impression that you have been directly plunged into her memory."--Megan Marz, Times Literary Supplement
"Gibson's memoir deals with coming of age, loss, the illusory quality of memory, race, and much more in a digestible 160-page package that one could tear through on a single weekend afternoon. It's written with a kind of literary efficiency, spare but descriptive, which leaves you feeling captivated and close to the momentum of the narrative."--Evan Wood, Missouri Life