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Distant Son
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Distant Son (Hardback)

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Two central Alabama counties, Hale and Tuscaloosa, provide the setting for Distant Son, the absorbing story of a young boy struggling, during the forties and fifties, to define himself in a world of poverty and deprivation.

Norman McMillan was the eighth of ten children. His forceful mother Lucille was greatly ambitious for her children, and his feckless father Albert never knew how to capitalise on his advantages. During much of young McMillan's first eighteen years, his family sharecropped, living in a series of rough, unpainted houses and struggling to claw out a meager living by truck farming.

Despite the deprivation the family faced, they seldom dwelled on their straitened circumstances. Lucille preached a strange sort of noblesse oblige based on ancestral pride. Because their riches of birth and ability were far greater than mere material possessions, Lucille taught her children to think of themselves as superior to many people who were better off economically. Any deprivation they experienced was temporary and would only serve to strengthen and toughen their character. It was, she assumed, their birthright to succeed and prevail. Meanwhile, Albert, whose family provided the illustrious ancestors held up as models, drank up his meager money, sold off his property, and, as the years passed, withdrew more and more from the world.

Both comical and moving, Distant Son tells the story of these parents and their children as well as their relatives and neighbours. It depicts with rich and lively detail a life that was largely fading in the boom years of the 1940s and 1950s, but a world in which many people still found themselves. Without self-pity, the memoir celebrates the human spirit and its triumphant power to transcend temporary circumstances.

BiographyBiography: generalEducation Publisher: The University of Alabama Press Publication Date: 30/08/2014 ISBN-13: 9780971191310  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: To Order. Estimated despatch in 1-3 weeks.  

Norman Mcmillan is co-author of Three Generations of Warriors: The Argonne Forest, The Flying Tigers, and the Skies of Vietnam and was the recipient of the Eugene Current-Garcia Award for Alabama's Distinguished Literary Scholar.

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