Nonfiction storytelling is at its best in this anthology of excerpts from memoirs by 30 authors—some eminent, some less well known—who grew up tough and talented in working-class America. Their stories, selected from literary memoirs published between 1982 and 2014, cover episodes from childhood to young adulthood within a spectrum of life-changing experiences.
All of these perspectives are explored within the larger context of economic insecurity in Coming of Age in a Hardscrabble World: A Memoir Anthology. These memoirists grew up in families that led “hardscrabble” lives in which struggle and strenuous effort were the norm. Their stories offer insight on the realities of class in America, as well as inspiration and hope.
Nancy C. Atwood has practiced psychotherapy and has served on the adjunct faculty at Smith College School for Social Work.
Roger Atwood is the author of Stealing History.