All Souls: A Family Story from Southie (Ballantine Reader's Circle)

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9780345441775: All Souls: A Family Story from Southie (Ballantine Reader's Circle)

Michael Patrick MacDonald grew up in "the best place in the world"--the Old Colony projects of South Boston--where 85% of the residents collect welfare in an area with the highest concentration of impoverished whites in the U.S. In All Souls, MacDonald takes us deep into the secret heart of Southie. With radiant insight, he opens up a contradictory world, where residents are besieged by gangs and crime but refuse to admit any problems, remaining fiercely loyal to their community. MacDonald also introduces us to the unforgettable people who inhabit this proud neighborhood. We meet his mother, Ma MacDonald, an accordion-playing, spiked-heel-wearing, indomitable mother to all; Whitey Bulger, the lord of Southie, gangster and father figure, protector and punisher; and Michael's beloved siblings, nearly half of whom were lost forever to drugs, murder, or suicide. By turns explosive and touching, All Souls ultimately shares a powerful message of hope, renewal, and redemption.

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From the Back Cover:

"If you were charmed by Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes . . . try All Souls, Michael Patrick MacDonald's guileless and powerful memoir."
--Time

"ALL SOULS IS THE WRITTEN EQUIVALENT OF AN IRISH WAKE, WHERE REVELERS DANCE AND SING THE DEAD PERSON'S PRAISES. In that same style, the book leavens tragedy with dashes of humor but preserves the heartbreaking details."
--The New York Times Book Review

"SEARING POWER . . . [MACDONALD'S] SWIFT, CONVERSATIONAL STYLE SWEEPS YOU INTO HIS ANGER AND SORROW."
--USA Today

"A DEEPLY AMERICAN STORY . . . BUT WHAT IT SHARES WITH ANGELA'S ASHES IS A SENSE OF INSPIRATION. From terrible times came two good men, both gifted in storytelling."
--Chicago Sun-Times

About the Author:

Michael Patrick MacDonald grew up in South Boston’s Old Colony housing project. After losing four siblings and seeing his generation decimated by poverty, crime, and addiction, he became a leading Boston activist, helping launch many antiviolence initiatives, including gun-buyback programs. He continues to work for social change nationally, collaborating with survivor families and young people.

MacDonald won the American Book Award in 2000 and has written numerous essays for the Boston Globe Op-Ed Page. His national bestseller, All Souls, and his follow-up, Easter Rising: A Memoir of Roots and Rebellion have been adopted by university curriculums across the country.

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