The author describes her childhood in Africa during the Rhodesian civil war of 1971 to 1979, relating her life on farms in southern Rhodesia, Milawi, and Zambia with an alcoholic mother and frequently absent father.

A Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent for The New York Times recounts growing up in the Alabama hills, the son of a violent veteran and a mother who tried to insulate her children from poverty and ignorance.

Recounts the author’s teenage experience of losing her brother in a car accident, a loss after which she managed her grief by engaging in self-destructive behaviors until her forbidden love for another girl helped her to define herself beyond her brother’s death.

A bizarre coming-of-age story his living with his mother’s psychiatrist, during which he had misadventures such as a fake suicide attempt and front-lawn family/patient sleepovers.

A columnist describes her time as a runaway, telling why she chose to live on the streets; discusses her struggle to balance school, the shelter system, and the temptations of the street; and recalls her battle to escape street life.

The author describes his peripatetic childhood with his irresponsible, alcoholic father as together they crisscrossed the country.

The author describes growing up with her Vietnam veteran father, a man haunted by his wartime experiences, and details their commitment to each other despite the anger, unhealed scars, and outrageous behavior that permeated their lives.

A daughter of a schizophrenic mother recounts how she and her sister were held hostage for four years while their mother gave way to psychosis.