Pulling the Chariot of the Sun: A Memoir of a Kidnapping

S. & S. Audio. Aug. 2023. 5:25 hrs. ISBN 9781797159928. $17.99. MEMOIR
Poet and National Book Award finalist McCrae’s (In the Language of My Captor) debut memoir tells the story of his abduction. In 1978, when he was just three years old, his mother’s white parents kidnapped him, taking him from his Black father and raising him in Texas. His grandparents warn his mother that she will never see her son again if she tries to tell the father where he is. McCrae’s grandparents raise him according to their white-supremacist beliefs, telling him that he is white and encouraging him to hate his father. Narrating his own work, McCrae captures his bewildering feelings as he attempts (and often fails) to piece together his recollections of his childhood and teen years. Via powerfully poetic language, he allows his thoughts to wander, backtracking and moving forward repeatedly as he tries to separate fact from fiction.
VERDICT McCrae has created a nonlinear and intricate patchwork, stitching together the forgetting and remembering wrought by childhood trauma. This poetic meditation on family and history should appeal to readers of Harrison Mooney’s Invisible Boy and Natasha Trethewey’s Memorial Drive.
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