“Eden’s days come back in shards of fractured memories, contextualized conjecture and research, and my mother’s voice as the old reliable washing machine that spins and recycles for years after the events. I cling to these fleeting blissful moments from life on Crescent Avenue in Hillsdale, suburban St. Louis. We were as idyllic an American family as any with a mama and daddy, a son and a daughter and a German shepherd in the fenced backyard. Almost all of the actual pictures are gone. St. Louis County police and court records provide Suburban police reports reveal a patchwork quilt where compression is distortion and repetition alters the fabric.”
Samuel Autman is Assistant Professor of English at DePauw University. His essay “A Dash of Pepper in the Snow” won the Tara Masih Intercultural Essay contest and appears in The Chalk Circle: Prizewinning Intercultural Essays anthology. “A Walk Through the Neighborhood,” excerpted from Sanctified: A Memoir was recently produced and directed as a short film, “A Long Walk.” Autman’s other writings have been published in Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction, The Huffington Post, Postcard Memoirs, I’m Black and I Travel and The St. Louis Beacon. He is represented by a patient agent at the David Black Literary Agency in New York City.
Posts by Samuel Autman
The real Elvis is American, remember, and America is a consumer society. The desires we project, the stuff we buy—that is what feels real to us. It lets us have any Elvis we want. He left plenty of kitsch in his wake, plenty of pseudo-religion, plenty of Elvis jokes—but he was not, is not, a joke. He lived our contradictions, released our inhibitions, and lost himself in the process.