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Sarah Payne Stuart
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Sarah Payne Stuart grew up in a family of aristocratic lineage whose fortune had long ago been lost. (Among the many family documents cited is a "Boston Globe article in which Lowell's bankrupt grandfather is quoted in his will as having left his children their good breeding and Boston heritage.) Stuart's upbringing carried with it a heady sense of privilege and entitlement, but without the money to back it up. This dichotomy--of being both anointed and strapped, of needing to keep up a brave front at all costs, even when members of successive generations of the family (including the author's brother and famous cousin) find themselves locked up in mental wards--forms the heart of this story. An irreverent and clear-sighted mediation on the claustrophobic yet seductive bonds of family, as well as an intimate portrait of a famous man, "My First Cousin Once Removed is a wry and haunting story of survival in the midst of instability and dynastic decline.
Praise for Sarah Payne Stuart and "My First Cousin Once Removed
"From a sometimes painful family history, Sarah Payne Stuart has created a poignant, funny, and ultimately triumphant memoir filled with great warmth and wisdom. Written in a refreshing,unforgettable voice which never falters nor sentimentalizes, "My First Cousin Once Removed is a thoroughly terrific book." --Doris Kerns Goodwin "Stuart is a deft writer who knows to snare her audience with brilliant, bitter-black humor while touching lightly but with sure, probing fingers of our darker fears, our least favorite wounds." --"Seattle Weekly
"Stuart is a deft writer who knows to snare her audience with brilliant, bitter-black humor while touching lightly but with sure, probing fingers of our darker fears, our least favorite wounds." --"Seattle Weekly
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