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Margaret B. Jones: South Central Memoirist

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Margaret B. Jones rates two NY Times pieces

about her memoir of life as a foster child in South Central, Love and Consequences.

Mimi Read’s piece, in the Home and Garden section, and is called A Refugee from Gangland, which is odd, because Jones doesn’t portray herself as a refugee. And “gangland” seems to be sort of where you find it:

The first time my o. g. visited me here–meaning original gangster, the gang’s leader–he slept 20 hours straight. In L.A. your anxiety is so high you sleep three hours a night.

That visitor, whom Rya calls Uncle Madd Ronald, is now in prison in California. The ways Ms. Jones and her daughter responded to the news reflected their vastly different childhoods. “Rya was just shattered,” Ms. Jones said. “I told her, don’t worry about it, he didn’t do anything bad. He just got caught up selling drugs.”

Read could have asked Jones if she knew Billy Ray Hines, but asks about her slipcovers, instead.

Michiko Kakutani’s book review is less worshipfully patronizing of the author, while still praising the book.

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