||House on Childress Street: A Memoir of My
Format: Paperback, 240pp
Pub. Date: January 2006
Publisher: Broadway Books
List Price: $14.95
In this vivid and piercing memoir of his grandfather, noted novelist Kenji
Jasper captures the story of his family and sheds a keen light on the urban and
rural experiences of Black America.
Author Kenji Jasper only knew his maternal grandfather, Jesse Langley Sr., as a
quiet man who smoked too many cigarettes, drank too much liquor and quoted the
Bible like it was the only book he'd ever laid eyes on.
Jesse's children rarely hugged him, and his nearly sixty years of marriage to
Sally seemed cold and complicated. But when the man who declared himself "The
Lone Ranger" passed away in late 2002, Kenji began a long and life-changing
journey to learn more about the grandfather he barely knew. From the streets of
his native Washington, D.C., to rural Virginia, North Carolina, and his home in
Brooklyn, Jasper's journey to find the truth leads him through three
generations of stories, through tales of love and loss, loyalty and betrayal,
addiction and redemption.
The House on Childress Street examines life, love, and survival through the
eyes of one little family on one little block that somehow manages to speak for