Unafraid of the Dark Essay - Critical Essays

Unafraid of the Dark

A Yale graduate, writer, and editor for a variety of publications including the NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, Rosemary Bray was raised by a “welfare mother” and grew up with the fear of seeing her family broken apart. Bray’s mother served as a protector and comfort in the “dark” Bray feared as a child, both the literal dark of nights when she woke freezing in the family’s sometimes unheated apartment, the darkness of her father’s violent rampages, and the figurative darkness of the hopelessness that attends poverty.

UNAFRAID OF THE DARK: A MEMOIR is a story of a young American girl’s dreams coming true. As a child Rosemary loved to read and yearned to be a writer; as she grew older, she had fantasized specifically about writing for the NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW. Her dreams of marriage and of having a traditional family and home are also realized. Politically conscious even as a child, Bray also hoped to be part of a multicultural community, and she finds at least a microcosm of that among her own friends.

Bray’s book provides a timely comment on welfare reform from a successful woman with personal experience of the jettisoned Federal welfare system; undeniably powerful and intriguing even to those who do not agree with her position on welfare reform.

Sources for Further Study

Booklist. XCIV, January 1, 1998, p. 768.

Elle. March, 1998, p. 158.

Emerge. IX, June, 1998, p. 66.

Essence. XXIX, May, 1998, p. 102.

Library Journal. CXXIII, January, 1998, p. 109.

Ms. VIII, May, 1998, p. 87.

The New York Times Book Review. CIII, March 8, 1998, p. 8.

Publishers Weekly. CCXLV, January 19, 1998, p. 361.

The Washington Post Book World. XXVIII, March 29, 1998, p. 4.

Women’s Review of Books. XV, September, 1998, p. 16.