Empathy is key for memoirist and columnist Charles M. Blow

December 31, 2014 1:11 PM

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AUSTIN - Charles M. Blow's memoir has drawn a lot of attention from the author's exploration of his bisexuality. That's certainly a crucial part of his story, but what really jumps off the page are Blow's photographic recollections of growing up poor in the small town of Gibsland, La., conflicted about his place in the world as a young black man.

Details, from the drunken woman who died in a ditch after a diabetic seizure to the abandoned house across the street where Blow sought solitude, come back to vivid life in "Fire Shut Up in My Bones" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27).

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