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Word Count: 273
She was born Marguerite but her brother Bailey nicknamed her Maya mine As little children they were sent to live with their grandmother in Stamps Arkansas Their early world revolved around this remarkable woman and the store she ran for the black community White people were more than strangers - they were from another planet And yet even unseen they ruled The Store was a microcosm of life its orderly pattern was a comfort even among the meanest frustrations But then came the intruders - first in the form of taunting poor white children who were bested only by the grandmothers dignity But as the awful unfathomable mystery of prejudice intruded so did the unexpected joy of a surprise visit by Daddy the sinful joy of going to Church the disappointments of a Depression Christmas A visit to St Louis and the Most Beautiful Mother in the World ended in tragedy - rape Thereafter Maya refused to speak except in to the person closest to her Bailey Eventually Maya and Bailey followed their mother to California There the formative phase of her life as well as this book comes to a close with the painful discovery of the true nature of her father the emergence of a hard-won independence and - perhaps most important - a baby born out of wedlock loved and kept Superbly told - with the poets gift for language and observation and charged with the unforgettable emotion of remembered anguish and love - this remarkable autobiography by an equally remarkable black woman from Arkansas captures indelibly a world of which most Americans are shamefully ignorant Bibliographygfdhggkjjgfhjjfg
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