Decency and compassion are the rule of thumb Crowell writes by, but in writing with clear-sighted fearlessness he also lays bare the wildness, insecurities, and character flaws that he has dealt with in his life.
The biggest surprise is what an accomplished prose wordsmith Crowell already is in his literary infancy. The true beauty of the book is the loving presentation of his oft-times unlovable parents — Crowell was an only child — who battled poverty, each other, epilepsy, and social inferiority to carve some satisfaction from the humdrum of everyday life in Jacinto City.
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Crowell tells of violence, prejudice, egotism, and stubborn redneck knuckle-headedness with clarity and literary vision. Along the way we are allowed to glimpse the germination of the mental makeup that ultimately shaped Crowell as a songwriter.
And the final chapter, describing the deaths and funerals of his parents, will cause both laughter and tears from even the hardest outlaw. Your email address will not be published.
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Review: Chinaberry Sidewalks - Music - The Austin Chronicle
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Book review: ‘Chinaberry Sidewalks’ by Rodney Crowell
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