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Book review: 'The Grace of Silence: A Memoir' by Michele Norris
Book review: 'The Grace of Silence: A Memoir' by Michele Norris

I wish NPR reporter Michele Norris hadn't called "The Grace of Silence," her tribute to her parents, a "memoir." The book is, at once, much less and much more. Gracefully written and carefully researched, it offers up long-buried family secrets as a testimony to racism's power and reach: Her stylish and cultured grandmother spent years as a traveling Aunt Jemima. Her soft-spoken, mild-mannered dad was shot and arrested as a young man in a row with a Birmingham, Ala., police officer. But there are gaps in Norris' history that cannot be filled. Her father has been dead for more than 20 years, and Norris is too respectful to push her headstrong mother for...

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