Swimming and sex seemed a lot alike to me when I was growing up. You took off most of your clothes to do them and you only did them with people who were the same color as you. As your daddy got richer, you got to do them in fancier places. Starting with her father, who never met a whitetail buck he couldn't shoot, a whiskey bottle he couldn't empty, or a woman he couldn't charm, and her mother, who invented road rage before 1960, Melissa Delbridge introduces us to the people in her own family bible. Readers will find elements of Southern Gothic and familiar vernacular characters, but Delbridge endows each with her startling and original interpretation. In this disarmingly unguarded and unapologetic memoir, she shows us what really happened in the stew of religion and sex that was 1960s Tuscaloosa.Whether telling of her father's circumspect hunting trips, her mother's sudden, tempestuous moves across town in the middle of the night, or coming to terms with her own sexuality on the banks of the river, Delbridge is the real star of this entertaining memoir. Crackling with wit, frighteningly smart, both drop-dead funny and wrenchingly sad, Family Bible is a stunning personal history.
Melissa Delbridge has published essays and short stories in the Antioch Review, Southern Humanities Review, Third Coast, and other journals. She is an archivist in the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University. Delbridge lives with her family in Orange County, North Carolina, where she spends her leisure time letting the dogs in and out, making pickles, plotting vengeance, substantiating rumors, and working on a novel.
Melissa J. Delbridge
University of Iowa Press
Date of Publication
Sightline Books: The Iowa Series in Literary Nonfiction