Cherry Street Alley

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About the author:

Ernest R. House is a professor emeritus at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He previously taught education at the University of Illinois. His evaluation of social and educational programs has earned him recognition, including the 1990 Paul F. Lazarsfeld Award given by the American Evaluation Association for contributions to evaluation theory.

His previous books include The Politics of Educational Innovation, Survival in the Classroom, Schools for Sale, and Jesse Jackson and the Politics of Charisma.

Cherry Street Alley

Authored by Ernest R House

A butcher knife whistled and crackled through gristle and bone as grandma cut through rabbits and squirrels. Browned, crisped, and mixed with a gravy made from milk, flour, and meat drippings, this was served as the daily feast.

That was 1939 in Depression-era Alton, Illinois, when Ernest R. House was born. So begins Cherry Street Alley, his memoir of a childhood filled with adventures, mishaps, and family sagas.

House endures poverty and a rotating cast of guardians. Born into an extended family, he and his sister are sent to live with relatives after his father dies suddenly and his mother remarries. He recounts stories of coming-of-age in a rough neighborhood of Alton, a former riverboat town along the Mississippi River. Many remembrances are dotted with humor—such as growing up next to a whorehouse and having people mistake your home for it.

There’s violence in House’s outlines of his relatives, including his father’s loving—but criminal—personality. There’s also compassion in a memoir about a family’s struggles to survive.

Told in the style of popular childhood memoirs Angela's Ashes and This Boy's Life, Cherry Street Alley is a book you won’t soon forget.

Publication Date:
151760320X / 9781517603205
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs

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