American Daughter: Discovering My Mother
|Article number:||Kendall ADDMM|
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NOTE: Elizabeth Kendall was an invited speaker at our 18th International Seminar in New York, June 21-23, 2023.
Occupying a coveted place in St. Louis's privileged high society, Henry and Betty Kendall seemed to be the American dream come true: six children, a sprawling house, a legacy of higher education at Harvard and Vassar. Yet underneath lay the flawed marriage of an idealistic young woman who made her eldest daughter her best friend and turned civil rights into her salvation. From the war-torn 1940s, when young men in uniform, home on leave, went to debutante parties, through the seismic social changes of the 1960s, Kendall tells the intertwined story of her mother and herself, of their powerful bond and how both shaped their lives in response to it.
Unrelentingly honest, rich with humor and insights into families and women's lives, American Daughter is both a poignant portrait of American life at the middle of the twentieth century, and a dual coming-of-age story of a mother and a daughter, united by commitment and love, separated by a fatal accident-and by the vastly different birthrights of their generations.
About the Author
Elizabeth Kendall is a non-fiction writer, who’s explored several genres of this interestingly catchall category: narrative history, research-based memoir and a more fanciful kind of memoir. She lives in New York City and teaches literature and writing at the Eugene Lang College of New School in Greenwich Village.