America's Child: A Woman's Journey through the Radical Sixties is the story of the journey of a child of first generation immigrant parents from a working-class neighborhood in Philadelphia to the mythic avenues of 1940's Hollywood, through the transformative years of Berkeley to the avant-garde art world of New York, to Cuba and throughout the turbulence of the sixties.
Susan Sherman's journey, during a period when the world was in ferment and large sections of the population were engaged in active self-examination as well as agitating for social change, is one of discovery and introspection.
From the cultural renaissance of the late 50s, through the sexual revolution, to political activism that starts with world issues and ends with struggles around sexism and homophobia, America's Child is simultaneously cultural history, social discourse, and a deeply personal narrative.
"Sherman's narrative reflects one woman's participation in vast, ragged efforts to fashion social structures that value all human lives equally ... This book couldn't have come along at a better time."
-Jan Clausen, LAMBDA Book Report
"This chronicle reads like an adventure story told with modesty and feeling."
"Sherman's memoir portrays the thrilling unreality of the times."
"A book of interior and exterior voyages, a book of transformations, a courageous, honest, illuminating book."
"Sherman participated in nonviolent protests, read poetry with Allen Ginsberg and Grace Paley, discussed rebellion with Fidel Castro, and founded IKON Magazine, and readers follow the author through the resistance against the Vietnam War, the communist scare and the birth of the women's movement. Pulls readers into its rhythm as it chronicles the author's eventful life."
"A poet, a lesbian, a radical, Susan Sherman's life was shaped by the great sweep of change that was the 60s. In America's Child, in beautifully crafted language, she connects us all to her struggle to find her place in a chaotic decade. Her memoir is a moving, sensitive, and insightful look at both a remarkable time and a woman growing into wisdom."
-Carol Polcovar, Playwright and Artistic Director of the Fresh Fruit Festival
"Sherman's memoir brings the 1960s back to life, but the lesbian author's motivation in writing it was her stated need to reach across the years and communicate with her younger self. She needs something from her, "something I have forgotten only she can tell me, only she can make me understand." ... Sherman's stunningly vivid portraits of people and places during this historical continuum of heightened participation, struggle, and possibilities will engage readers interested in the politics, social mores, and dreams of that time."
"I am grateful to Susan Sherman for this compelling and beautifully written account of her life-and ours-in sixties and seventies America. Both a chronicle observed through the generous lens of an engaged participant, and a poet's act of remembering, America's Child enables us to locate, still beating like a heart within the thick-skinned body of the present, the complex, turbulent, light-filled spirit of a season in our history when we endeavored to accelerate the rate at which we traveled from who we were toward who we could become."
Poet, playwright, and founding editor of IKON magazine, Susan Sherman has published four collections of poetry; a poetry, essay and short fiction collection, The Color of the Heart (Curbstone) and has had twelve plays produced off-off Broadway. Her translation of Shango de Ima (Doubleday) won eleven AUDELCO awards for the Nuyorican Poets Cafe production in 1996. Among her awards are a NYFA fellowship for creative nonfiction, a NYFA Fellowship in poetry and a Puffin Foundation Grant.
America's Child by Susan Sherman | Original Paperback | Curbstone Pub date: November 2007 | ISBN: 978-1-931896-35-1 | 239 pages | $15