Pat Carr may be the only person in the United States who spent her childhood next door to a Japanese relocation camp in Wyoming in the 1940s, grew up to pass for black in 1950s Texas, started teaching college in the Jim Crow South of the 1960s, and crossed paths with scores of other authors over half a century’s journey as a professional writer.
But universal truth is found in every writer’s singular experience, and Carr’s memoir illuminates the path for others who have chosen the writing life. “Everything we do, everywhere we’ve been, influences us,” Carr believes. Pacing her revealing memoir as a series of single-page episodes, she offers distilled glimpses of the people, places, and moments that made a lasting impression and provided the fabric and fuel of her writing.
At the same time Carr’s pages reveal her attempts to find the authentic centers of her life: relationships with family, friends, lovers, fellow writers; struggles with racial and gender discrimination; and above all her writing identity.