Born into the beautiful bedlam of downtown New York in the eighties, iO Tillett Wright came of age at the intersection of punk, poverty, heroin, and art. This was a world of self-invented characters, glamorous superstars, and strung-out sufferers, ground zero of drag and performance art. Still, no personality was more vibrant and formidable than iO's mother's. Rhonna, a showgirl and young widow, was a mercurial, erratic glamazon. She was iO's fiercest defender and only authority in a world with few boundaries and even fewer indicators of normal life. At the center of Darling Days is the remarkable relationship between a fiery kid and a domineering ma– a bond defined by freedom and control, excess and sacrifice; by heartbreaking deprivation, agonizing rupture, and, ultimately, forgiveness.
Darling Days is also a provocative examination of culture and identity, of the instincts that shape us and the norms that deform us, and of the courage and resilience it takes to listen closely to your deepest self. When a group of boys refuse to let six-year-old, female-born iO play ball, iO instantly adopts a new persona, becoming a boy named Ricky - a choice iO's parents support and celebrate. It is the start of a profound exploration of gender and identity through the tenderest years, and the beginning of a life invented and reinvented at every step. Alternating between the harrowing and the hilarious, Darling Days is the candid, tough, and stirring memoir of a young person in search of an authentic self as family and home life devolve into chaos.
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Literary bravery at it's best
- Jason Adam Richards
In love with this book and human
I already have! I watched an interview with iO on youtube and thought his views were interesting, and wanted to hear more from him. It seemed like fate that his memoir was released around the same time. I love the strong and diverse characters, the chronology of life events, and just his voice. A beautiful writer.
DEFINITELY any time iO used a special voice or accent to speak as a character (Indian, German, Italian, and various from New York, including the most impressive impersonation, his mother). For this, I am so glad that I did not buy the book in print. His acting experience is very helpful, I feel like I'm being entertained.
Don't have one, but I did really enjoy the childhood stories.
Just the absurdity and beauty that is iO's life. Additionally, I love that iO's parents never doubted who he claimed he was: boy, girl, gay, whatever, they never made a big deal and accepted him as he was. This has helped me notice some of my prejudices and has inspired me to be more accepting of people for who they are.
I didn't want it to end.