Just Beneath My Skin

Just Beneath My Skin

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Writing about oneself, says Patricia Foster, qengages in truth but depends on the imagination, on the life just beneath the skin, a life that's impressionistic and fragile.q These eleven closely linked personal essays are at once an absorbing chronicle of a life fully undertaken and a model for anyone who has contemplated self-investigation through autobiographical writing. The book's three sections each convey a stage of Foster's journey--still ongoing--toward new levels of insight and maturity. qInside the Girls' Roomq takes us back to Foster's life in the rural South from the 1950s through the early 1970s. Here she reveals the mixed messages and stereotypes of southern womanhood by which she was raised-and from which she fled. With adulthood, Foster moves to qInside the Writing Room, q a place dotted with discoveries about autobiography as a path to creative expression and inner coherence. Finally, at the place in her life Foster calls qInside My Skin, q autobiography helps her to explore and to claim her cultural identity. Returning to her native South, she holds a writing workshop for a group composed mostly of middle-aged black women, visits a beloved maid from her childhood, and returns to old haunts as a witness to her concerns about race and class. This gathering of lyrical essays explores the intelligent, intuitive heart of a woman struggling to claim both her identity and her place in the world.I imagined my second grade teacher, Mrs. Perry, leaving school with our stack of spelling words and printing exercises, ... at all hours, where she could go to the Museum of Natural History and be face to face with dinosaur skeletons or Eskimo dioramas. ... Though I didna#39;t feel female, how easy it was to mimic the world of the feminine: knees together, back straight, my mind a cloud of potential fashions.

Title:Just Beneath My Skin
Author:Patricia Foster
Publisher:University of Georgia Press - 2004


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