Red Star Tattoo

Red Star Tattoo

My Life as A Girl Revolutionary

Book - 2016
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"From hardscrabble Milwaukee to dreamy Hawaii, from turbulent Montreal to free-spirited California, Red Star Tattoo is Sonja Larsen's unforgettable memoir of a young life spent on the move. By the age of 16, Sonja joins a cult-like communist organization in Brooklyn in a spirit of idealism and hope--unaware of the dark nature of what awaits her. A small, skinny 8-year-old-girl holding a teddy bear stands by the side of a country road with a young man she barely knows. They're hitchhiking from a commune in Quebec to one in California. It is 1973 and somehow the girl's parents think this is a good idea. Sonja Larsen's is a childhood in which family members come and go and where radical politics take over her mother's life and her own. As a pregnant teen her mother had been thrown out of home in Milwaukee by her evangelical preacher father. Her aunt Suzie is gripped by schizophrenia, her behaviour so erratic she eventually loses custody of her daughter. And then there is her cousin Dana, shunted back and forth long-distance between her parents--Dana, whose own need to escape leads to unspeakable tragedy. Looking for a sense of family, searching to belong, to have your life mean something--this is what all these girls and young women have in common. As a teenager, Sonja finds herself embracing her mother's commitment to an organization known publicly as the National Labor Federation and privately as the Communist Party USA Provisional Wing. Over her three years embedded within the NLF's national headquarters in Brooklyn, Sonja becomes the youngest member of the organization's militia and part of its inner circle. She works sixteen-hour days and is not allowed to leave. She soon becomes a mistress of the Old Man, the organization's charismatic leader. As she and the other members count down the days until their American revolution is set to begin, Sonja's doubts about the cause and the Old Man become increasingly difficult to ignore. Red Star Tattoo explores the seductions and dangers of extremism and, in prose that is both poetic and unsentimental, asks what it takes to survive a childhood scarred by loss, abuse and the sometimes violent struggle for belonging."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Toronto : Random House Canada, ©2016
ISBN: 9780345815279
Branch Call Number: 335.83 LAR 2016
Characteristics: 259 pages

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