This amazing autobiography begins in its first section with the narrator's mother telling a story about an aunt who has brought massive shame upon her family, and therefore whose story is secret and must not be repeated. This aunt became pregnant a long time after her husband had been married to her and had left for America, clearly showing she had committed adultery. As a result, the family's house is raided and trashed, and when the aunt gives birth later on that night, she drowns both herself and the baby in a pigsty.
The narrative tone of this section is one of massive regret and sadness. Kingston finds that as she is unable to ask more questions about this taboo topic she is left to speculate about what really happened to this unmentionable aunt. Was she raped? Or did she desire adventure and to cross boundaries just like her new husband did when he went to America? Kingston closes this section with the recognition that her family didn't mention her aunt as a form of punishment to her. Kingston therefore tells this story so that her aunt's memory will not be forgotten and to appease her spirit.