Gal: A True Life

Front Cover
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated, 1995 - Biography & Autobiography - 333 pages
Ruthie Bolton was born January 6, 1961, in the Hungry Neck section of Charleston, South Carolina. At the time her mother was thirteen; she has never known who her father was. Her mother was the wandering kind, so Ruthie - nicknamed "Gal" by her step-grandfather - was raised in her grandparents' home. One day Grandmama died as a result of a severe beating by her husband - it occurred to no one to call this to the attention of the authorities - and Gal was left in the brutal hands of her granddaddy, who also beat her unmercifully. Ruthie began to steal things in school and developed a stutter; she drank and smoked dope. But she resolutely stuck with her education and graduated from high school, which was likely her salvation, for today Ruthie is happily married, with children and a fine job. At last, she is at peace - with herself, and even with the memory of her grandfather. It is nigh impossible to convey the astonishingly eloquent simplicity of Ruthie's witnessing to her time. Here is an absolutely remarkable document, as touching as it is painful, as ageless as it is timely.

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User Review  - laurensx - LibraryThing

A very painful memoir to read. Sadly, the life survived by Ruth, is all too common amongst our "civilized" society. Told and written with brutal honesty and grit, it was difficult to actually read ... Read full review

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User Review  - OEBooks - LibraryThing

It felt as if I was right in the room listening to Ruthie tell her story. Heartbreaking, horrid, painful memories... my deepest reflection being Ruthie's aversion to watching Roots as Gal, itself ... Read full review

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About the author (1995)

Ruthie Bolton" is a pseudonym. The names of all the people and many of the places in this narrative have also been changed. The author has chosen this method in order to spare her children, her family, and her friends any pain or embarrassment. In every other respect, the words and events of Gal represent the author's true life.
Josephine Humphreys is the author of Dreams of Sleep, which won the 1985 Hemingway Foundation Award for a first work of fiction; of Rich in Love, made into a major motion picture; and of The Fireman's Fair (all available from Penguin).

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