I’m not sure I can really explain or reconstruct all the circumstances that conspired to deliver a teenage Puerto Rican boy to our dooryard. At the time, my husband and I were living a simple, full and peaceful life. Then–what? The flash of a serious face on TV, the voice, the plea…
Many people figure in Manny’s story: his adoptive father, step-brothers, blood brother, our relatives and neighbors, his friends and girlfriends, teachers, and employers. Each would tell the tale differently. But this is my version of the story that I have collected from various emblematic episodes into a kind of prose collage–my words, Manny’s words, and other people’s anecdotes, letters, reports, notes and conversations. It is at once a personal memoir and a tribute to everyone who has taken part in this adventure, especially Manny himself.
Your Sun, Manny was chosen as the second volume in the Marie Alexander Poetry Series from White Pine Press. Published in 1999, the second edition (2010) features an Epilogue.
“Take this book to your heart and carry it away. The beauty and expressiveness of the author’s words will renew your faith in the possibility of using language to capture experience and make it glow with meaning.” Laurel Speer, contributing editor, Small Press Review
“This is a complex story of hard-earned successes and brilliantly achieved failures, a story full of humor and wisdom and love.” Erica Funkhouser, author of The Actual World
In a MSW curriculum full of text books and scholarly articles, it is nice to have a break, take a breath and read about a family’s true story. To hear from their mouths the descriptions of their challenges, their successes, what worked for them and what did not… (sent) powerful messages. I am grateful I was able to hear a part of Manny’s story. B. Cross, MSW student, Univ. of New Hampshire
“Marie Harris is that rare writer, an innovator whose originality serves to make her tale at once richer and more accessible.” Richard Hoffman, author of the memoirs Half the House and Love & Fury
“Undergraduate social work students in my HBSE course love Your Sun, Manny, a quick and easy read that resonates long and deep with core content across the foundation social work curriculum. We mine it all semester long!” Alison Climo, CMSW, Ph.D, Director, Social Work Program at Warren Wilson College“I have used Your Sun, Manny in my MSW Family Therapy classes for the past 11 years, and have discovered new wisdom and a depth of material to teach from with each reading. This eloquent narrative offers a way for students to enter in and viscerally experience easily accessible lessons about the strength and flexibility of children and the families and communities that hold them. Your Sun, Manny addresses issues of diversity, poverty, racism, the foster care system, adoption, and the development of empathy and compassion to name but a few.” Susan Lord, PhD, LICSW, Assistant Professor at the University of New Hampshire Social Work Curricula: http://tinyurl.com/zvlo2gl