Paradise, Piece By Piece

Molly Peacock

Molly Peacock is an award-winning author of several volumes of poetry. In this work she turns her poet’s eye for vivid detail and sensual language to her own life. Described by her as a “hybrid memoir” that blends fact with invented characters and events, Paradise, Piece by Piece takes familiar memoir motifs and threads them into something new and striking.

It is in part a story about growing up in a dysfunctional family in upstate New York. It is also the story of an artist coming into her own and discovering her voice, as Peacock breaks free from her troubled childhood and finds a new identity as a poet. At the center is her decision to live the childfree life and not have children—a question that proves to be inseparable from the other threads of the story. A dilemma she ponders as early as the age of three, it is, she writes, “a decision you make not once, but many times.” The result is a moving memoir deeply rooted in language , place and sensuality.

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