Bastards

  • Title: Bastards
  • Author: Mary Anna King
  • ISBN: 9780393088618
  • Page: 285
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Bastards Born into poverty in southern New Jersey and raised in a commune of single mothers Mary Anna King watched her mother give away one of her newborn sisters every year to another family All told there
    Born into poverty in southern New Jersey and raised in a commune of single mothers, Mary Anna King watched her mother give away one of her newborn sisters every year to another family All told, there were seven children Mary, her older brother, and five phantom sisters Then one day, Mary was sent away, too Living in Oklahoma with her maternal grandfather, Mary gets a nBorn into poverty in southern New Jersey and raised in a commune of single mothers, Mary Anna King watched her mother give away one of her newborn sisters every year to another family All told, there were seven children Mary, her older brother, and five phantom sisters Then one day, Mary was sent away, too Living in Oklahoma with her maternal grandfather, Mary gets a new name and a new life But she s haunted by the past by the baby girls she s sure will come looking for her someday, by the mother she had to leave behind, by the father who left her Mary is a college student when her sisters start to get back in touch With each reunion, her family becomes closer to whole again Moving, haunting, and at times wickedly funny, Bastards is about finding one s family and oneself.

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      285 Mary Anna King
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      Posted by:Mary Anna King
      Published :2019-04-11T14:05:49+00:00

    About Mary Anna King


    1. Mary King was born in southern New Jersey and grew up in Oklahoma City, OK, where she was adopted at the age of ten After studying English Literature at Colgate University she moved to Los Angeles where she lives and writes Her memoir, Bastards the story of how she and her six biological siblings were separated and reunited is forthcoming from W.W Norton Co in June of 2015.


    434 Comments


    1. Incredibly well written. I was completely enthralled, start to finish. Full review to come.Full/Updated Review:I love memoirs. I love how unabashed they can be and how the best ones radiate an inherent, undeniable truth. What I've come to understand though, is that you can't always rely on memoirs for their literary quality; which isn't always damning but absolutely separates the good from the bad. In this memoir's case, I am very, very confident in my declaration of its greatness. Bastards stru [...]

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    2. I don't fully agree with Leo Tolstoy's famous opening line in Anna Karenina: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” To me, another sentence from that book rings truer, that "there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts.” BASTARDS, Mary Anna King's heart-breaking and heart-mending debut memoir, is about the many kinds of love that can exist within a family—a biological family, a family as defined by legal documents, a family lost, a family fo [...]

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    3. This is a terrifically engrossing book that reminded me how much I love memoirs. King's personal story of being one of seven siblings to be given up for adoption while still being in touch with her birth parents is filled with drama, but she resists the trap of overdramatizing the facts or the characters, letting the reader do that work.Loved it.

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    4. A king's horses and his men couldn't, according to the nursery rhyme, make post-fall Humpty Dumpty whole. But for how long did they try? And do we know if Humpty's pieces really wanted to be together again? Whatever -- Humpty is an egg, not a family. Mary Anna King's memoir, Bastards, makes clear that the scattered pieces of a broken family can come together. Yeah, we see and feel the cracks, but deep holes can be filled by the desire for wholeness. Like Mary Karr's The Liars' Club and Jeannette [...]

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    5. An unflinching look at the life of a woman who grew up in a poor family in New Jersey where her parents continued to have child after child even though they couldn't support them. Although the author and her brother and sisters were born in the early 1980s, this could have been written about a poor family in the Depression or any other time in the 20th century. When the children are with their mother, they don't have enough to eat and go running out the door with no supervision and are at the me [...]

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    6. Finally, an adoption memoir that hit me in the clavicle. And gut. And brain. You can find myfull review here.

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    7. This is not the last time you will hear me say this, and it is definitely not the first time either. If you are going to write a memoir, the story you tell should be engaging and interesting. This story was kind of flat for me. A young girl grows up with a mother who can't take care of her kids that keep popping out, so she gives them for adoption. As an adult, our main character who is one of the kids who has a semi normal life eventually meets her siblings. The story was nicely written but sad [...]

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    8. This isn’t an awful book. But I’ll say the same thing I said last time I reviewed a memoir about an adoptee connecting with her biological family: it was written too soon. By which I mean both that it seems premature, with some of the most interesting parts of the story yet to be lived, and that it leaves out much of the information I wanted to know, likely because the author and her family weren’t yet comfortable sharing so much.Mary Anna King has a complicated family: she is the second o [...]

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    9. This book is a memoir by one of seven children born to very flawed parents in a bad marriage. The parents kept having babies year after year, and kept giving them away. Eventually, all seven found one another and got to know about themselves biologically and emotionally. The author writes from her own viewpoint, obviously, and thoroughly analyzes her personal thoughts and feelings. This book leaves one feeling that there are many unanswered questions about the parents and the inconceivability of [...]

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    10. Interesting memoir about growing up amongst a very dysfunctional family. The author's birth parents were in and out of her life and many of her siblings were given to different families for adoption. Eventually she manages to meet all of her lost siblings and they find the share a bond they didn't know they had. I found the story interesting and the ending uplifting.I received this book as part of a good reads giveaway.

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    11. Well written memoir by a woman who survived a difficult childhood which included, among other things, seeing her baby sisters given up for adoption. King describes her family in a detailed unapologetic style; the story itself is sad but intriguing. This was a quick read. One of the best memoirs I've read in a while.

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    12. Thoughtful, painful. King's portraits are complex—her grandfather and Mimi, for example, aren't portrayed solely as people who took her in only because she needed somewhere to go; they're also people who did their best by her. King lets herself walk around in people's shoes, trying to figure out not just what her experience was but why they might have acted and reacted as they did.King had siblings, a brother and multiple sisters, but she didn't grow up with them. Or—she grew up with her bro [...]

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    13. For many adoptees and foster children, the what if, what if, what if of separation from our first families is a constant gnawing; for some it is a gaping, unstaunchable wound. Such absence and apartness is a difficult feeling to convey, but Mary Anna King pulls it to the page with Bastards, a book that is sure to be anthem-like for adoptee readers, should be required reading for adoptive parents, and is, beyond that, a vivid, absorbing story that is sure to sate fans of literary memoir.Read Lite [...]

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    14. "Denial is a crooked crutch. When it's all you have, you don't see how it bends away from you, the way it makes each step longer and more tedious. When you're deep in reliance on such a twisted thing, you adjust ylurself to accomodate it. You two coil together so tight that it becomes impossible to tell where you end and it begins ." (231)A brave story about Mary Anna King's life. It's her story. No criticisms from me.

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    15. I won this book on .It was an interesting read even though it was different from what I normally read.It was about the life of Mary. Some scenes made me remember my life growing up.I would recommend this book.

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    16. you know those people who have intense life stories and write them all down during their creative writing class in college and turn it into a book? yep.

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    17. A well-told memoir of an interesting coming of age. Some sentences so writerly and poetic that I was tempted to take a highlighter to my library copy.

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    18. Mary Anna King’s first six years of life are anything but stable. Three out of her five siblings are put up for adoption, and as a small child, Mary Anna tags along with her mother to meet with potential adoptive parents for each of her unborn sisters. Mary Anna explores the many reasons for her mom’s unwanted pregnancies, and though she’s never certain of any particular one, she is sure about one thing. She’s going to meet those sisters someday, no matter what. Bastards is not only Mary [...]

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    19. In Bastards: A Memoir, Mary Anna King fearlessly tells the story of growing up in a family in which pieces are chipped away slowly, and of gradually reunifying those pieces over time. Mary builds complex portraits of the people involved in her childhood, not shying away from painful truths as she starts life in poverty in New Jersey, born to parents who were “good at having (kids), just not good at keeping them.” There were seven children in all, and four of her baby sisters are each relinqu [...]

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    20. Well, this was an interesting read. Mary Anna King -- born second to a family of seven -- grew up watching her mother give away sister after sister, as she and her brother grew up in poverty.Born second in a family that would eventually number seven, Mary didn't finish meeting all of her siblings until she was attending college. Mary and her older brother watched their grandparents take away their baby sister to Oklahoma, while they stayed in New Jersey with their extremely irresponsible parents [...]

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    21. This was an interesting memoir, but not interesting enough. I've read memoirs before that were much more engaging than this one. Of course I always read memoirs where the author describes the things they remember happening at the age of 3 and thinkally? You remember what you said/thought/did at age 3? Also, King mentions that one character is actually a composite of more than one person, and now I'm wondering which characterI wish she had said. I felt like the writing in this book was a little o [...]

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    22. wordnerdy/2015/06King has been making the rounds of blogs I like to promote this memoir (cf this piece on The Toast), and though I don't read a lot of non-fiction, her writing and the description of this book were both pretty intriguing. King grew up in a poor and complicated family, where she was the second oldest of seven (the younger ones also all girls), and where her four youngest sisters were all given up for adoption, not knowing the older siblings existed. But King knew they would come l [...]

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    23. What a rough emotional life this author has led! This is her amazing story of how her parents kept having babies and giving them away, and how she constantly felt that large pieces of her were missing. Unfortunately, this feeling of not belonging and of being out of place in life is all too common in many children and teens today. Throughout my teaching career, I encountered quite a few teens who had similar stories to Mary's, and who I just wanted to take home with me and love! The instinct for [...]

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    24. As small children, Mary Anna King and her brother watched her mother give her next four newborns up for adoption. Mary's memoir talks about her life growing up with her mother in New Jersey and then with her grandparents in Oklahoma. As she ages, Mary comes to several realizations about herself and her family. This memoir was interesting in some parts and kind of dull and lost in others. I never felt I had a great sense of who Mary really was. That may be because she herself didn't know but some [...]

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    25. I finally was able to put this book down, but only because I finished it. Bastards tells the story of Mary Anna King's family, one where sisters are given away on a regular basis and adults are unreliable at best, crazy or drunken at worst. King's strong voice carries you through the stories she hoarded so that when she finally gathered her sisters together again, she could tell them the tales of the life that had occurred in their absence. If you enjoyed The Glass Castle, you'll like this as we [...]

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    26. "I had been excited to distraction about getting on an airplane because I was certain that once I was above the cloud cover I would see where the Care Bears lived. If I could get their attention, if they saw my brother, sister, and me in transit like this, the Care Bears would scoop us up, bellies blazing with rainbow light, and fix our fractured family. Or maybe the Care Bears would let us live with them in the clouds where there weren't any grown-ups to muck up our lives. That might be the bes [...]

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    27. A comment on the dust jacket says this book is hilarious, an adjective I would not use. Mary Anna King describes an impossibly sad scenario, but one that will leave you feeling altogether better about the strength of human spirit. She writes with an engaging style that sometimes is lacking in memoirs. Her story is both tragic and inspiring. Taking the time out of my busy life to read about hers felt like a good way to respect her journey.

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    28. I thought this book would be more interesting than it is--after all, it's about a girl whose mother had seven children, ended up giving away four of them, and lost the rest to family members when she couldn't get her life together. I don't know exactly what the problem is, but over 100 pages in and I still don't care that much. Moving on.

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    29. I absolutely loved this book. Bastards tells the story of seven siblings, all adopted, though not together and the authors journey leading up to and following her reunion with her lost siblings. This book reminds us just how important both biological and non-biological family is; both have separate, yet, important rolls.

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    30. The cover and description caught my interest. A compelling, sometimes gritty memoir about a fractured life. Interesting read (listen? I had the audiobook) that made me both laugh out loud and cringe. I could relate to King even though her story is so different than mine.

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