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 left behind, by the father who left her. Mary is a college student when her sisters start to get back in touch. With each subsequent reunion, her family becomes closer to whole again.
Moving, haunting, and at times wickedly funny, Bastards is about finding one's family and oneself.
"Is it OK to repeatedly burst out laughing in the middle of a crowded coffeehouse before explaining to fellow customers, 'It's this hilarious new book about a crazy family that gave away their children the way other families send out Christmas cards'? If not, I apologize for all the interrupted coffee breaks and lift my cup to Mary King and her glorious Bastards, a rib-tickling yet deeply moving debut memoir. Only a writer with King's keen eye, expert storytelling skills, and from-the-heart honesty can turn a childhood this deficient into a book so rich." (Franz Wisner, author of Honeymoon with My Brother)
"With Bastards Mary Anna King has crafted a wise and indispensable meditation on the true nature of family, the dislocations of adoption, and all the vital species of love. She brings light to them all." (Steve Almond, author of Against Football: One Man's Reluctant Manifesto and Bad Poetry)
"An impressive debut.... [Mary Anna King's] prose moves with lyrical wit and cultural texture as she persists with all of her protean self to figure out the nature of family and the deepest human connections amid trauma and confusion." (Peter Balakian, author of Black Dog of Fate)
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