Parallel Time The author becomes a member of the editorial board of The New York Times ; one of his younger brothers becomes a drug dealer and… Parallel Time The author becomes a member of the editorial board of The New York Times ; one of his younger brothers becomes a drug dealer and… Memoir Pop Culture
Book Review

Parallel Time

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Writer: Brent Staples; Genres: Memoir, Pop Culture

The author becomes a member of the editorial board of The New York Times; one of his younger brothers becomes a drug dealer and is shot to death at 22. How it is that two members of the same family can end up leading such different lives — the flukes, wrong turns, and chance encounters that can radically change a life — is the underlying subject of Staples' compelling memoir. The second child of nine in a poor black family, Staples was well on his way to a future in ''the commercial arts'' as a clerk or secretary when he met a man who persuaded him go to college. He went on to get a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and became a reporter. Meanwhile, his old neighborhood was turning from industry to drugs. A painfully honest account of the conflicts and choices caused by growing up and away from one's roots, Parallel Time is less an autobiography than a meditation on a universal question: What makes us what we are? B+

Originally posted Mar 18, 1994 Published in issue #214 Mar 18, 1994 Order article reprints
Advertisement

From Our Partners