Mary Childers's intimate and frank memoir tells the story of growing up in a family in which five out of seven children dropped out of high school and four different fathers dropped out of sight. With this lyrical and often humorous examination of how she became the first person in her family to attend college, Childers illuminates the causes of welfare dependence, generational poverty, and submission to a popular culture that values sexuality more than self-esteem and self-sufficiency.

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