Firebird: A Memoir


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In his autobiography, poet Mark Doty tells the story of how he became aware of his sexual orientation at the age of ten, and of one family's dissolution through the corrosive powers of alcohol, sorrow, and thwarted desire.

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Nov 29, 2007

Darkness and Light in Equal Measure

Doty's second memoir focuses on his childhood moving about the United States. As his "difference" becomes apparent, he becomes more and more estranged from his parents, who are working through their own problems, and sometimes taking them out on him. In a beautiful passage, Doty describes a dance he performed in a grade-school class, and the freedom it gave him from his body, his life, and his diminished sense of self. This book does nearly the same thing-taking someone who might not quite fit in and propelling him towards a much greater place.

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