Category: Biography: U.S.: 20th Century
Copyright/published Year: 2003 by Harmony Books
Binding: trade pap
How many times have you thought, "this has got to be true-no one ì could make this up?" Well, in 1929, Huston Curtiss was seven ì years old, living with his beautiful, opinionated mother (whose ì image is on the cover of this book), and surrounded by their ì romantic, fiercely independent, and often certifiably insane ì relatives. Huston has never before written about that time-an era ì of racism and repression, a time when this country was still ì relatively young, an age of quirky individualism and almost ì frontier-style freedom that largely has ceased to exist. Fearful ì he would not be believed, on one hand, but desirous of the ì freedom to embellish, on the other, Curtiss chronicles that time ì in Sins of the Seventh Sister, a book he characterizes as ì "a novel based on a true story of the gothic South."
It is his story and the story of the people of Elkins, West ì Virginia, a small town whose inhabitants included his mother, ì Billy-Pearl Curtiss, and her many sisters-all stunning blondes. ì Billy-Pearl would prove to be an irresistibly romantic figure in ì her son's life. She was the seventh of eleven children, all girls ì to her father's consternation. By the time of her arrival, her ì father felt he had been patient enough and insisted on calling ì her Billy; he taught her everything he had intended to impart to ì his firstborn son. She would grow up to be one of the most ì beautiful women in the county, but also one of the most ì opinionated and liberal. Her aim was so precise that she was ì barred from the local turkey shoot because none of the men had a ì chance against her. When a Klansman accused her of attempted ì homicide after she shot him through the shoulder to stop him from ì setting fire to the home of her black neighbors, she told the ì sheriff, "If I had meant to kill him, he'd be dead." And with ì that defense, she was exonerated.
Curtiss Farm was large and the house had many rooms, which ì Billy-Pearl got in the habit of gathering people to fill, ì especially the downtrodden who had nowhere to go. In May 1929, ì Billy-Pearl brought home a boy from the local orphanage. Stanley ì was sixteen, the age at which the orphanage kicked children out, ì and Billy-Pearl, knowing his sad history, could not allow him to ì end up on the streets. Stanley had witnessed his father beat his ì mother to death in a drunken rage and had taken a straight razor ì and slit his father's throat while he slept. A country judge had ì the boy castrated to control his aggressive ways. Not a boy, but ì not yet a man, Stanley was tall, willowy, and frightened as a ì colt upon his arrival at Curtiss Farm-not at all the playmate for ì whom Huston had hoped. But quickly a friendship developed between ì the two that would last a lifetime-a friendship that would ì survive murder, suicide, madness, and Stanley's eventual ì transformation into Stella, a singer who would live her adult ì life as a glamorous woman.
This is a used book in Very good condition.
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Clean copy. Tanning to page ends
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