By Beth Ditto, Michelle Tea
A uncooked and unusually attractive coming-of-age memoir, Coal to Diamonds tells the tale of Mary Beth Ditto, a lady from rural Arkansas who discovered her voice.
Born and raised in Judsonia, Arkansas—a position the place indoor plumbing was once a luxurious, squirrel was once a meal, and intercourse ed was once taught in the course of senior yr in highschool (long after many ladies had gotten pregnant and dropped out) Beth Ditto stood out. Beth used to be a fats, pro-choice, sexually harassed choir nerd with an exceptional voice, an eighties perm, and a Kool relief dye task. Her unmarried mom labored extra time, which intended Beth and her 5 siblings have been usually left to fend for themselves. Beth spent a lot of her formative years as a temporary, shuttling among relations, taking care of a sickly, risky aunt she still enjoyed, taking care of sisters, brothers, and cousins, and attempting to avoid her mother’s undesirable boyfriends.
Her punk schooling started in highschool lower than the tutelage of a bunch of teens—her moment family—who embraced their outsider prestige and brought her to safety-pinned garments, mail-order tapes, queer and fat-positive zines, and any shred of counterculture they can smuggle into Arkansas. With their support, Beth survived highschool, a sad relatives scandal, and a psychological breakdown, after which she received the hell out of Judsonia. She decamped to Olympia, Washington, a late-1990s paradise for rebel Grrrls and punks, and started to domesticate her glamorous, queer, fats, femme picture. On a whim—with longtime pals Nathan, a guitarist and musical savant in a polyester go well with, and Kathy, a quiet highbrow grew to become drummer—she shaped the band Gossip. She gave up attempting to remake her making a song voice into the airy wisp she notion it's going to be and as a substitute embraced its complete, soulful power. Gossip gave her that opportunity, and the uncooked energy of her voice received her and Gossip the eye they deserved.
Marked with the frankness, humor, and defiance that experience made her a world icon, Beth Ditto’s unapologetic, startlingly direct, and poetic memoir is a hypnotic and encouraging account of a girl getting into her personal.
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Additional info for Coal to Diamonds: A Memoir
Everywhere we looked we found them. Fleas! Swarms of them. They were between his toes and under his collar and burrowed inside his ﬂoppy ears. Even if they were slow enough to catch, which they were not, there were simply too many of them to even begin picking off. We had heard about Florida’s legendary ﬂea and tick problems. With no hard freezes, not even any frosts, the bug populations were never knocked back, and they ﬂourished in the warm, moist environment. This was a place where even the millionaires’ mansions along the ocean in Palm Beach had Marley & Me 45 cockroaches.
Within weeks of bringing Marley home, we decided to stop using birth control. That’s not to say we decided to get pregnant, which would have been way too bold a gesture for two people who had dedicated their lives to being as indecisive as possible. Rather, we backed into it, merely deciding to stop trying not to get pregnant. The logic was convoluted, we realized, but it somehow made us both feel better. No pressure. None at all. We weren’t trying for a baby; we were just going to let whatever happened happen.
Endorsements did not come much more glowing than that. The more I read, the better I felt about our decision. Even the caveats didn’t scare me much. Jenny and I would naturally throw ourselves into our new dog, showering him with attention and affection. We were dedicated to taking as long as needed to properly train him in obedience and social skills. We were both enthusiastic walkers, hitting the waterfront trail nearly every evening after work, and many mornings, too. It would be just natural to bring our new dog along with us on our power walks.
Coal to Diamonds: A Memoir by Beth Ditto, Michelle Tea