Stories of Resilience in Childhood
Narratives of Maya Angelou, Maxine Hong Kingston, Richard Rodriguez, John Edgar Wideman and Tobias Wolff
What helps a child overcome extraordinary obstacles? Why do some children surmount many difficulties and go on to live fulfilling lives while other children who face similar difficulties end up living desperate, sad lives? What helps children beat the odds? What builds resilience in children?
These are critically important questions, yet for too long social scientists, doctors, psychologists and teachers have studied children who failed and tried to figure out what caused the failure. Only relatively recently have they begun to focus on what creates success.
Originally published in 1997, this book is an effort to understand better what contributes to a child’s "success" and "resilience". The source of information will be autobiographies of childhoods – autobiographical stories written by adults remembering their difficult childhoods. This is not a research study or case study, rather it is an attempt to read and listen to five stories about resilient children and see what they can tell us about supporting children and building resilience.
Table of Contents
1. Resilience, Autobiography, and Children 2. When a Whole Village Raises a Child: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings 3. Desperate to be The All-American Boy: This Boy’s Life 4. Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts: The Woman Warrior 5. The Education and Mis-Education of "Rich-heard Road-ree-guess": Hunger of Memory 6. Big Brother, Little Brother: Brothers and Keepers 7. Resilience or Silence 8. Selected Bibliography 9. Index
Daniel D. Challender