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KooKooland:  A Memoir Gloria Norris

KooKooland: A Memoir

Gloria Norris

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 About the Book 

In the tradition of The Glass Castle and With or Without You, a bracingly funny and chilling true crime memoir about a girls gutsy journey to escape her charismatic yet cruel fathers reign - an unforgettable story of violence, love, and,MoreIn the tradition of The Glass Castle and With or Without You, a bracingly funny and chilling true crime memoir about a girls gutsy journey to escape her charismatic yet cruel fathers reign - an unforgettable story of violence, love, and, ultimately, triumph.Its the 1960s in Manchester, New Hampshire, and little Gloria Norris is growing up in the projects. Her parents are Jimmy and Shirley, her sister is Virginia, and her cat is Sylvester. A photo might show a happy, young family, but only a dummkopf would believe that.Jimmys a wiseguy who relies on charm, snappy wit, and an unyielding belief that hes above the law- as his youngest daughter, Gloria is just like him. Or at least, she knows that she needs to stay on his good side so he doesnt brain her one. Jimmy is violent: hes passionate about hunting, horse races and slasher flicks, and hes prone to outbursts that have him screaming and reaching for his shotgun. Shirley, mild and meek as she is, tries to protect the girls from Jimmys most brutal moments, but the thing with Jimmy is that its his way or the highway. Virginia, older and wiser, tries to stand up to Jimmy. Gloria just wants to make him happy.He takes Gloria everywhere. Fishing, hunting, drive-ins, and to his parents dingy bar - a hole in the wall with pickled eggs and pickled alkies. The only place Gloria cant go is the dive where Jimmy bets on horses. Its there, as she sits and waits for hours on end, that she imagines a life different from her own. Glorias favorite of Jimmys haunts? Hank Piascenys gun shop. While Hank and Jimmy throw good-humored insults at each other, Gloria talks to Hanks daughter, Susan. Smart, pretty, kind, and ambitious, Susan is Glorias idol. She represents everything Gloria wants to be - and can be, as long as she tries as hard in school. Just like Susan tells her too.Its only when Hank commits an unspeakable act of violence, that Gloria and Susan suddenly find themselves on different paths. Hanks violence and Susans grief serve as eerie warnings of a life to come, especially as Jimmy falls into a depression that has him making threats and reaching for his guns more often and with greater relish.Against all odds, Glorias fiery determination takes shape and she sets herself on a path away from the cycle of violence whirling around her - in her home, in the projects, in her small New Hampshire city and even in the national landscape where the assassinations of President Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the brutality of Vietnam underscore the tragedies she witnesses up close.Gloria Norriss unconventional coming-of-age memoir jangles with electricity and suspense. The life of this gutsy young girl is unforgettable and inspiring, wrought with dark humor and tenderness. From the darkness her irrepressible pluck and determination emerges and Gloria triumphantly carves out a good life on her own terms.