The Half Life of a Free Radical: Growing Up Irish Catholic in Jim Crow Memphis

From the Preface

I had hoped to finish this autobiography by my fiftieth birthday. I wanted to neatly tidy up my tumultuous half century of life and move into my remaining years with a clean slate. But it is difficult to dwell in memory, to listen to parts of myself that still feel unhealed and unholy.

Now I am sixty-seven. My hair is as gray as the winter clouds, its silver strands glistening as my mother’s did. My face is lined like the surface of a lake etched by the wayward winds. Now it is time to weave the story of times past, mending the tattered quilt of my family with these threads of memory, speaking my own truth, and finding clarity for the remaining years.


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