Screening Room: Family Pictures
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Date: February 2015
Duration: 6 hours 1 minutes
From the acclaimed authorof the international bestseller Einstein's Dreams, here is a lyricalmemoir of Memphis from the 1930s through the 1960s: the music and the racism,the early days of the movies, and a powerful grandfather whose ghost continuesto haunt the family.
Alan Lightman's grandfather M. A. Lightman was the family'sundisputed patriarch: it was his movie theater empire that catapulted thefamily to prominence in the South, his fearless success that both galvanizedand paralyzed his descendants, haunting them for a half century after hisdeath. In this lyrical and impressionistic memoir, Lightman writes aboutreturning to Memphis in an attempt to understand the people he so eagerly leftbehind forty years earlier. As aging uncles and aunts begin telling familystories, Lightman rediscovers his southern roots and slowly realizes the errorsin his perceptions of his grandfather and of his own father, who had beencrushed by M. A. Here is a family saga set against a throbbing century ofMemphis-the rhythm and blues, the barbecue and pecan pie, and the segregatedsociety-that includes personal encounters with Elvis, Martin Luther King Jr.,and E. H. "Boss" Crump. At the heart of it all is a family haunted by the ghostof the domineering M. A. and the struggle of the author to understand hisconflicted loyalties to his father and grandfather.