In this vivid and piercing memoir of his grandfather, noted novelist Kenji Jasper captures the story of his family and sheds a keen light on the urban and rural experiences of Black America.
Author Kenji Jasper only knew his maternal grandfather, Jesse Langley Sr., as a quiet man who smoked too many cigarettes, drank too much liquor and quoted the Bible like it was the only book he’d ever laid eyes on.
Jesse’s children rarely hugged him, and his nearly sixty years of marriage to Sally seemed cold and complicated. But when the man who declared himself “The Lone Ranger” passed away in late 2002, Kenji began a long and life-changing journey to learn more about the grandfather he barely knew. From the streets of his native Washington, D.C., to rural Virginia, North Carolina, and his home in Brooklyn, Jasper’s journey to find the truth leads him through three generations of stories, through tales of love and loss, loyalty and betrayal, addiction and redemption.
The House on Childress Street examines life, love, and survival through the eyes of one little family on one little block that somehow manages to speak for us all.
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