Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard (英語) ペーパーバック – 2011/5/24
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Breaking night: (Urban slang) staying up through the night, until the sun rises
Breaking Night is the stunning memoir of a young woman who at age fifteen was living on the streets, and who eventually made it into Harvard.
Liz Murray was born to loving but drug-addicted parents in the Bronx. In school she was taunted for her dirty clothing and lice-infested hair, eventually skipping so many classes that she was put into a girls’ home. At age fifteen, Liz found herself on the streets when her family finally unraveled. She learned to scrape by, foraging for food and riding subways all night to have a warm place to sleep.
When Liz’s mother died of AIDS, she decided to take control of her own destiny and go back to high school, often completing her assignments in the hallways and subway stations where she slept. Liz squeezed four years of high school into two, while homeless; won a New York Times scholarship; and made it into the Ivy League. Breaking Night is an unforgettable and beautifully written story of one young woman’s indomitable spirit to survive and prevail, against all odds.
“Breaking Night reads more like an adventure story than an addiction-morality tale. It’s a white-knuckle account of survival. . . . Murray’s stoicism has been hard-earned; it serves her well as a writer. Breaking Night itself is full of heart, without a sliver of ice, and deeply moving.”
—The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)
“From runaway to Harvard student, Murray tells an engaging, powerfully motivational story about turning her life around. . . . In this incredible story of true grit, Murray went from feeling like ‘the world was filled with people who were repulsed by me’ to learning to receive the bountiful generosity of strangers who truly cared.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The admirable story of a teen who overcame homelessness through sheer grit and the kindness of friends. . . . An uplifting story of survival.”
“Education was the miracle that saved Murray’s life. . . . Her story is inspirational, and her description of [her high school], and its role in her life, should be read by everyone concerned about education.”
—Washington Post Book World
“Truly uplifting. . . . Liz Murray has shown us the worst, and the very best, of America.”
—Haven Kimmel, author of A Girl Named Zippy and She Got Up Off the Couch
“Liz Murray shows us that the human spirit has infinite ability to grow and can never be limited by circumstance. Breaking Night is a beautifully written, heartfelt memoir that will change the way you look at your community, the obstacles in your own life, and the American Dream. An inspiration; a must-read.”
"From runaway to Harvard student, Murray tells an engaging, powerfully motivational story about turning her life around.... In this incredible story of true grit, Murray went from feeling like "the world was filled with people who were repulsed by me" to learning to receive the bountiful generosity of strangers who truly cared."―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Truly uplifting ... Liz Murray has shown us the worst, and the very best, of America."―Haven Kimmel, author of A Girl Named Zippy and She Got Up Off the Couch
"The admirable story of a teen who overcame homelessness through sheer grit and the kindness of friends ... An uplifting story of survival."―Kirkus Reviews
"Breaking Night reads more like an adventure story than an addiction-morality tale. It's a white-knuckle account of survival. . . . By age 6, Murray knew how to mainline drugs (though she never took them) and how to care for her strung-out parents. She showed uncanny maturity, even as a child, and later managed to avoid that malady of teenagers and memoir writers, self-pity. . . . Murray's stoicism has been hard-earned; it serves her well as a writer. Breaking Night itself is full of heart, without a sliver of ice, and deeply moving."―The New York Times Book Review
"Education was the miracle that saved Murray's life. . . . Her story is inspirational, and her description of [her high school], and its role in her life, should be read by everyone concerned about education."―Washington Post Book World
"Liz Murray shows us that the human spirit has infinite ability to grow and can never be limited by circumstance. Breaking Night is a beautifully written, heartfelt memoir that will change the way you look at your community, the obstacles in your own life, and the American Dream. An inspiration; a must-read."―Robert Redford
主人公はいつも母親から言葉で愛情をたくさんうけていたからです。"I love you."をきき続けて、感じ続けてきたら。愛されているという実感があったから。
What saddened me more than reading this Memoir, were the negative comments. I do believe, without a shadow of a doubt, Ms Murray had, and still has, strong emotions regarding her life. She chose to try to write an inspirational book. Depressing? Yes, if you can't handle the reality of many children. I think reading the back cover would give a clue on the contents. When surrounded in such dysfunction, one would be emotionally delayed. Emotions can crop up many years after the actual situation. Her life was more of a daily battle zone. Survival mode does not give one much time to analyze feelings. Her forgiveness of her parent's are amazing, though those thoughts may change as she ages, and perspective sets in. Eating chapstick is hardly conducive to proper nutrition, or stimulating the brain cells. Neither is being born crack addicted. I suppose the 80's were different, though I cannot fathom why Social Services did not remove her from the hospital. I commend those who actually did help and guide her.
It appears many simply ignored the situation. No family members involved? The breakdown of our society. I would like to see her write a second book. An update, if you will. More on Lisa. More on her emotions, even if it offends those who were depressed by the contents. No judgements from me. None. God has truly walked with these two sisters. May they continue on a path of peace. Thank you for writing this Liz.
I had the privilege of hearing Liz Murray speak at a Commencement Ceremony for the University of Utah. She told her story of going from being homeless to getting an education at Harvard. After hearing her speak, I knew I had to read more about her story.
Liz Murray grew up in a family with parents who were drug addicts. At a young age she knew how to set up the paraphernalia for her parent’s big night of drug binges. Her father was a very smart man who never went to college or fulfilled any of his dreams. Her mother was legally blind and her monthly disability check was all the family had to live on. After they picked up the check the family ate well for a few days until all the money had been used for drugs and alcohol. Liz’s sister was always telling her parents to take care of her children and not do drugs. Liz was the advocate for her parents and lookout so she could tell her parents to hide the drugs from her sister.
Liz and her sister grew up with never enough to eat, no clean clothes, and no one to tuck them in at night. Their living conditions were unsanitary with a bathtub that wouldn’t drain and the water had gone rotten, making the apartment smell bad. Liz started skipping school while still in elementary school so she could spend time watching game shows with her parents. She only went to enough school to pass her tests and move on to the next grade level. As a teenager, her parents separated and she lived with her mom and a new boyfriend for a while then went back to the apartment until her father turned her in to protective services. Liz was so afraid of going back into custody she lived with friends, sleeping under their beds and eating and showering only when the parents went to work.
Liz wanted to go back to school and make a life for herself, but the kids she hung out with seemed to be having too much fun. She finally went to high school and studied in the empty hallways of apartment buildings, because it was quiet. She was so far behind in school that she had to take four years of high school in two years.
This is a wonderful story of strength, commitment and fulfilling your dreams. You really don’t want to miss this book. It has come out in movie form as well as the Liz Murray Story.