September 10, 2021


Publication Date: July 28, 2020

Print Length: 224 pages A New York Times Notable Book
A Washington Post Top 10 Best Book of 2020
An Amazon Best Book of 2020
An NPR Best Book of 2020

Previous Author Publications:
Monument: Poems New and Selected (2018)
Thrall: Poems (2012)
Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (2010)
Native Guard (2007)


Twenty-five years after her mother was murdered by her stepfather, Natasha Trethewey, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and U.S. poet laureate, travelled back to Atlanta to investigate the circumstances of her mother’s death. After recovering police files and her mother’s diary, Trethewey reconnects to her own experience of emotional abuse and comes to understand her mother’s heroic efforts to save them both.


Laymon, Kiese Makeba, “In ‘Memorial Drive’ a Poet Evokes Her Childhood and Confronts Her Mother’s Murder.” The New York Times. Wabuke, Hope, “A Daughter Unearths and Remembers Trauma In ‘Memorial Drive’.” NPR/CPR News, July 27, 2020.


  • Several decades after her mother’s death, Trethewey resolves to learn more about how her mother died. What insights do we gain when we view the people our parents once were through adult eyes?
  • As a victim of domestic abuse, Trethewey’s mother tried to escape from her marriage. In what ways do women become trapped in an abusive relationship?
  • Trethewey writes “To survive trauma, one must be able to tell a story about it.” How can victims of trauma find a balance between trying to forget the past while at the same time recognizing that the past has molded the people they have become?
  • As the child of a white father and black mother when her parents’ marriage was illegal, Trethewey was unsure, growing up, where she belonged. In what ways did her mother nurture her ambitions to be a writer and to be open about her unique perspective about growing up in the Jim Crow South?


  1. ruth January 9, 2022 at 8:46 pm - Reply

    it was beautifully written, hauntingly poignant

  2. visit our website January 26, 2022 at 10:28 am - Reply

    “Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It will always be helpful to read through content from other authors and practice a little something from their websites.}” visit the following web page

  3. Very good article. I certainly appreciate this website. Keep writing!

  4. August 28, 2022 at 10:03 am - Reply

    Can I simply say what a relief to uncover someone who really understands what they are discussing on the internet. You certainly know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people ought to look at this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe you arent more popular since you certainly have the gift.

  5. Im more than happy to find this page. I want to to thank you for ones time for this fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated every bit of it and i also have you saved to fav to look at new things in your web site.

  6. Hello there! I simply want to offer you a huge thumbs up for your excellent information you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your website for more soon.

Leave A Comment

Every month I offer a Book Club suggestion that highlights authors who write about their family history and explore themes of identity.
If you have books you would like to recommend, contact me at:

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Kaia Gallagher, Author, 7934 S CLAYTON CIR, Centennial, CO, 80122, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact