'Marvin Arnett's book captures in a vivid, readable, and highly personal way the reality of a time, place, and way of life that is gone forever. It is a real history as it was lived.'
'Professor William Linn, Humanities Department, University of Michigan, Dearborn.
'Arnett narrates her experiences with quiet dignity and faith. Her optimism and strength of spirit are qualities we don't see often enough in contemporary memoir.'
'Michael Steinberg, founding editor of Fourth Genre.
'Pieces from Life's Crazy Quilt places rough times beside humorous times, and the result is an understanding of the lives of black folks that would make Maya Angelou nod in agreement. [It's] a delightful read--a coming-of-age story told through the keen observations of Marvin Sprague, a black girl growing up in Detroit, Michigan, during the 1930s and 40s.'
'Walter Benefield, AALBC.com.
from Life's Crazy Quilt
Click to order via Amazon
Format: Hardcover, 208pp
Pub. Date: April 2003
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press (American Lives Series)
Notes from the Author
Pieces from Life's Crazy Quilt, Birth of a Book
Like most positive things in life, Pieces from Life's Crazy Quilt came about
seemingly haphazard manner. I retired in 1988, and by 1994, I had made numerous trips aboard, volunteered at several Detroit area hospitals, tutored students in the 'Let's Read Program and established a program to train young people how to fill out job applications. I also spent hours playing the organ, listening to jazz, playing with my grandchildren, catching up on reading, and writing short stories for my own pleasure. In short, I was bored, bored, bored!
One day I noticed an article in the Detroit News describing a senior citizen's program at U of M Dearborn. For $50 dollars a semester, a senior could take 12 credit hours in any subjects they chose. I immediately signed up for Creative Writing.
I was delighted when the Lyceum Literary and Fine Arts Journal accepted two of my essays for the fall 1994 and winter 1995 issues. One of the essays, 'The Good Reverend,' became Chapter 5 of Pieces from Life's Crazy Quilt. The class instructor suggested that I combine the several essays I had written about my childhood, add to them and publish them as a book. The idea fired my imagination, and I set to work. And that is how Pieces from Life's Crazy Quilt was born.
It was not an easy task. Over the next two years, I stopped and restarted the
process too many times to count. Efforts to shop the completed product resulted
in over 97 rejections from literary agents. In the end, perseverance won out.
The University of Nebraska Press is scheduled to release a hardcover version of
Pieces from Life's Crazy Quilt in April 2003.