The Glass Castle

In the tradition of Mary Karr's "The Liars' Club" and Rick Bragg's "All Over But the Shouting," Walls has written a stunning and life-affirming memoir about surviving a willfully impoverished, eccentric, and severely misguided family.

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an excitement addict. Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

For two decades, Jeannette Walls hidher roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to MSNBC.com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.

TO INQUIRE ABOUT SCHEDULING JEANNETTE WALLS FOR SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS PLEASE CONTACT:

Keppler Speakers

Dustin L. Jones

Associate, College & University Division

703.516.4000 (P)

703.516.4819 (F)


Review:

Memoirs are our modern fairy tales.... The autobiographer is faced with the daunting challenge of attempting to understand, forgive, and even love the witch.... Readers will marvel at the intelligence and resilience of the Walls kids. -- Francine Prose, The New York Times Book Review, front page

Author:
Jeannette Walls
Format:
Paperback

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Description

In the tradition of Mary Karr's "The Liars' Club" and Rick Bragg's "All Over But the Shouting," Walls has written a stunning and life-affirming memoir about surviving a willfully impoverished, eccentric, and severely misguided family.

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an excitement addict. Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

For two decades, Jeannette Walls hidher roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to MSNBC.com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.

TO INQUIRE ABOUT SCHEDULING JEANNETTE WALLS FOR SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS PLEASE CONTACT:

Keppler Speakers

Dustin L. Jones

Associate, College & University Division

703.516.4000 (P)

703.516.4819 (F)


Review:

Memoirs are our modern fairy tales.... The autobiographer is faced with the daunting challenge of attempting to understand, forgive, and even love the witch.... Readers will marvel at the intelligence and resilience of the Walls kids. -- Francine Prose, The New York Times Book Review, front page

Product details

Author:
Jeannette Walls
Subtitle:
A Memoir
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Imprint:
Simon & Schuster
ISBN:
9780743247542
Audience:
General
Pages:
288
Width (mm):
132
Length (mm):
200
Weight (g):
272

Customer reviews

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A sad but true parody on family life

A very sad reflection of a very intelligent girl growing up in a most disfunctional family. Her parents are out of touch with reality and although for example her mother has painting equipment, there is no food in the house. She and her sister save up, and her sister leaves home. The siblings eventually all live in New York. It shows that feckless people never reform, as her parent end up living on the streets of New York.

 

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