Like her grandmother Addie, who beckoned an audience with the words, "Let me tell you something," Settle relays the story of her life with richness and compassion. She tells of her own birth on the day of the worst casualties of World War I, when her mother was obsessed with fear for a beloved brother stationed in France; of growing up in a time of boom and bust; of the Great Depression; of clinging to a frail raft of gentility that formed her early adolescence. She traces dreams from the attic of a music school where she found a friend who took her to Shakespeare and a teacher who forced her to recognize true pitch.
Addie ends back at its source, in the Kanawha Valley, with those, now dead, who helped to form the author's life. The memoir closes with the burial of the last of the inheritors of Beulah, Settle's cousin, to whom Addie is dedicated.
About the Author
"This book is brutally honest . . .Addie is the highest art. . . If you're lucky enough to find a bookstore smart enough to stock Addie, you'll recognize the book before you even spot the title."—Appalachian Journal
"A book of depth and delicacy. . . Using the skill [she] has honed over a forty-five year literary career, she has created a rich and complex double memoir. It is another star in her crown."—Southern Quarterly
"How a grandmother's divorce influenced a granddaughter's fiction is explained in Mary Lee Settle's autobiography, Addie, in which the author's grasp of history becomes evident as eminently personal business."—Jerome Klinkowitz, American Literary Scholarship
"That she has brought her considerable skills and vision as a novelist to the writing of autobiography is reason enough to feel grateful."—New York Times
Other Titles by Mary Lee Settle
Other Titles in BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Literary