Audible DailyDeal – Ordinary Light: A Memoir

Today’s Audible Daily Deal is a memoir from Pulitzer Prize -winning Tracy K. Smith, who explores the larger legacy of her African American family’s history in the context of her insulated California upbringing.

Ordinary Light: A Memoir (4.5/5 stars, priced at $3.95 TODAY ONLY)

From the dazzlingly original Pulitzer Prize-winning poet hailed for her “extraordinary range and ambition” (The New York Times Book Review): a quietly potent memoir that explores coming-of-age and the meaning of home against a complex backdrop of race, faith, and the unbreakable bond between a mother and daughter.

Tracy K. Smith has a fairly typical upbringing in suburban California: the youngest in a family of five children raised with limitless affection and a firm belief in God by a stay-at-home mother and an engineer father. But after spending a summer in Alabama at her grandmother’s home, she returns to California with a new sense of what it means for her to be black: from her mother’s memories of picking cotton as a girl in her father’s field for pennies a bushel to her parents’ involvement in the Civil Rights Movement.

These dizzying juxtapositions – between her family’s past, her own comfortable present, and the promise of her future – will eventually compel her to act on her passions for love and “ecstatic possibility” and her desire to become a writer. But when her mother is diagnosed with cancer, which she says is part of God’s plan, Tracy must learn a new way to love and look after someone whose beliefs she has outgrown.

Written with a poet’s precision and economy, this gorgeous, probing kaleidoscope of self and family offers us a universal story of belonging and becoming and the ways we find and lose ourselves amid the places we call home.


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