BELFAST — Celebrate the publication of Maureen Stanton’s memoir, Body Leaping Backward: Memoir of a Delinquent Girlhood, Tuesday, July 16, at 7 p.m., at Left Bank Books – the day that Stanton’s book goes on sale.
A professor of creative writing at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Stanton’s nonfiction has been widely published in literary journals and anthologies, and she’s received numerous literary prizes and awards, including the Pushcart Prize.
In Body Leaping Backward, Stanton recounts her risk-taking girlhood growing up in working-class Walpole, Massachusetts. As the 1970s brought upheaval to America, Stanton’s once-solid family lost its way. Her parents separated and her now-single mother descended into shoplifting, then grand larceny – anything to keep a toehold in the middle class for her children. Stanton, too, slipped into delinquency (vandalism, breaking and entering), all while nearly erasing herself through addiction to angel dust.
Stanton finally pulled herself off this self-destructive path by summoning the courage to ask for help. She spent $20 a week from her new job pumping gas to seek counseling instead of buying drugs. She found a way to tolerate the structure of school her senior year and somehow remembered how to be smart, how to choose friends who don’t steal drugs, and how to speak up.
When asked why she decided to tell her story now, Stanton said, in a news release, that she’s “always wanted to give voice to that troubled teenage girl. . . .My instincts to rebel.. .collided with a loss of self-confidence after my parents split up. I kept returning to this experience because I wanted to figure out why I made so many terrible choices, but I was also ashamed because of the trouble I caused and people I hurt. So for years I’d write parts of the story, then put it aside. Probably not coincidentally, after my father died in 2014, I began in earnest to write the book.”
Seating at the bookshop is limited and reservations for this free event are encouraged. Call (207-338-9009) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to reserve seats or to pre-order copies of Body Leaping Backward.
Left Bank Books is located at 109 Church Street in downtown Belfast, across the street from the police station. Ample parking is available in front of the shop and in an adjacent public lot.