Daughter of the Queen of Sheba: A Memoir

Jacki Lyden

Published by Penguin Books, 1998
ISBN 10: 014027684X / ISBN 13: 9780140276848
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Synopsis: As an adult, National Public Radio foreign correspondent Jacki Lyden has spent her life on the front lines of some of the world's most dangerous war zones. As a child, she lived in a war zone of a different kind. Her mother, Dolores, suffered from what is now called manic depression; but when Jacki was growing up in a small Midwestern town, Dolores was simply called crazy. In her manic phases, Dolores became Marie Antoinette or the Queen of Sheba, exotically delusional and frightening, yet to young Jacki also transcendent, even inspiring. In time, Jacki grew to accept, even relish, Dolores's bizarre episodes, marveling at her mother's creative energy and using it to fuel her own. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and lyrical, this memoir of a mother-daughter relationship is a testimony to obstinate devotion in the face of bewildering illness.

Review: Black humor alternates with almost unbearable pathos in National Public Radio journalist Jacki Lyden's memoir of her mother's manic-depressive episodes. Dreadful though those periodic bouts of madness were, they also gave an unhappy housewife a sense of power and freedom that Lyden couldn't help but admire. "You could say that the life of my imagination began with my mother's visions," she writes, making connections between her profession of "find[ing] things out in places of great secrets" and her struggle to deal with her mother's illness.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Daughter of the Queen of Sheba: A Memoir
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: 1998
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: New
Edition: Later Printing.

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