When I was a little boy, my mother took me to the mall with her whenever she went shopping for new clothes. Mama, a much-too-young single mother, was a power shopper, a fashionista, the Denise Huxtable of our family. A shopping trip with her took on the tactical skill and physical endurance most armies display in combat. I tired quickly, and when she saw that my boredom was slowing her down, she gave me permission to roam the mall by myself. In later years, Mama said that she never worried I would get lost because she knew I would end up in Waldenbooks. Books held a mesmeric power over me; they still do. But blank books, curiously, enthrall me as no other books can. Anytime I enter a bookstore I feel myself pulled toward notebooks and diaries. Thick ones,...
Private Pages, Public Spaces: Diaries and Autoethnography
Jarrett Neal’s first book, What Color Is Your Hoodie?: Essays on Black Gay Identity, was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. His writing has appeared in The Gay and Lesbian Review, Chelsea Station, NewCity, Litbreak, and other publications. He is the Writing Center Coordinator at Governors State University and is currently writing a collection of short stories titled The White Boy Does HisWork. He lives in Oak Park, Illinois. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Jarrett Neal; Private Pages, Public Spaces: Diaries and Autoethnography. Journal of Autoethnography 21 September 2020; 1 (4): 425–427. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/joae.2020.1.4.425
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