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Finding fish : a memoir
Antwone Q. Fisher and Mim E. Rivas
Adult Nonfiction F499.C69 N33 2001

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From Publishers' Weekly:

An unflinching look at the adverse effects foster care can have on a child's life, this stunning autobiography rises above the pack of success fables from survivors of America's inner cities. Born in the 1950s to an underage single mother serving time in prison for murder, Fisher was placed in the home of a staunch minister and his wife, who appeared to be a loving couple to the series of foster care workers who monitored their home in one of Cleveland's working-class neighborhoods. Writing in a deft mix of elegant prose and forceful dialect, Fisher is especially adept at dramatizing the tactics of control and intimidation practiced by his foster mother on the abused children in her care, such as crushing Fisher's self-esteem by calling him worthless, shaming one girl after she began her period and making the boys bathe with Clorox. (Fisher supports his detailed recollections with excerpts from the actual foster-care records.) An added bonus is the author's vibrant recreation of several key black neighborhoods in Cleveland during the golden age of the Black Power movement, before the areas disappeared under the aegis of urban "renewal." If a major feature of survival memoirs is their ability to impress readers with the subject's long, steady climb to redemption and excellence, then this engrossing book is a classic. (Feb. 5) Forecast: Boosted this season by a national ad campaign, 25-city radio campaign and a six-city author tour, interest in Fisher's autobiography is guaranteed to swell when the movie adaptation of the book (shooting this month and directed by Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington, who will also star) hits screens nationwide (tentatively scheduled for next winter). (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Like Cinderella, Fisher rose above the abuse of a dismal foster care childhood in Cleveland to success as a screenwriter and producer in Hollywood. The cast of characters includes a wicked foster mother (Mrs. Pickett), whose ultimate betrayal condemned him to homelessness at age 17; colorful friends, many of whom became victims of street life; and a strong though tragic birth family with which "Fish" reunites as a young man. This is a story of resilience based on personal character as well as the kindness and inspiration of mentors; it is also a gripping expos of a foster care system that undersupervises caretakers and provides little transitional assistance for its "graduates." Denzel Washington is set to direct a film based on Fisher's uplifting and authentic tale. Though slower-paced than Tina S. and Jamie Pastor Bolnick's Living at the Edge of the World (LJ 9/1/00), which explored a similar but more deviant lifestyle, this book is highly recommended for urban public libraries.DAntoinette Brinkman, MLS, Evansville, IN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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