Daughter of the Queen of Sheba: A Memoir

Daughter of the Queen of Sheba: A Memoir

By:  Jacki Lyden

As a foreign correspondent for NPR, Jacki Lyden has spent her adult life on the frontlines in some of the most dangerous war zones in the world. Her childhood was a war zone of a different kind. Her mother suffered from what we now call manic depression; when Jacki was a child in a small Wisconsin town, her mother was simply called crazy. In her delusions, she was a woman with power: Marie Antoinette or the Queen of Sheba. In her real life, she had married the nefarious local doctor, who drugged her to check her moods and terrorized the children to keep them quiet. Holding their lives together was Jacki's hardscrabble Irish grandmother, a woman who had her first child at the age of fourteen and lost her husband in a barroom brawl. Lyden vividly captures the seductive energy of her mother's delusions, which were both an inspiration and a threat as she set out on her own impassioned journey. In her twenties she joined a traveling rodeo. Later, as a radio journalist, she interviewed Arafat and maneuvered her way through Baghdad at the height of the Persian Gulf War. Always, her mother's exotic fantasies were an irresistible lure. Like Mary Karr in THE LIAR'S CLUB and Tobias Wolff in THIS BOY'S LIFE, Jacki Lyden portrays her unstable mother with a child's aching regret and an adult's keen wisdom. In DAUGHTER OF THE QUEEN OF SHEBA, three remarkable women -- mother, daughter, and grandmother -- reveal their obstinate devotion to each other against all odds, and their scrappy genius for survival.

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  • Format: eBook

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780547745718

  • ISBN-10: 0547745710

  • Pages: 272

  • Price: $9.99

  • Publication Date: 10/01/1997

  • Carton Quantity: 1

J
Author

Jacki Lyden

Jacki Lyden is a former senior correspondent for Nation Public Radio. An expert in the Middle East, she was a part of the award-winning NPR team that covered the Persian Gulf War. Her other journalism awards include the 1990 National Mental Heath Association Media Award for investigative reporting on mental health care.
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  • excerpts

    "I am the Queen of Sheba, my mother announced to me in a regal voice. She had taken the silky yellow sheets from her voluptuous bed and twisted them around and around her torso like a toga, leaving one shoulder, as white as a gardenia, bare except for her bra strap. The sheets were hooked together with heirloom antique pins. On her arms she'd drawn hieroglyphics in eyeliner. My mother's long auburn hair was swept up and crowned with an old tiara that we girls had played with as little children, pretending to be lost princesses . . . I was alone in the house with her, but she might have been on another continent. I could not follow her. I went to phone my grandmother at her bungalow. She didn't believe me for a moment, she said. Then she told me not to tell anyone and to stay in my bedroom until she arrived. . . Sheba was a vision, and she vanished that afternoon into the twilight. I have been watching wearily for her ever since, but never so hard as when my mother slips off into the caverns where the past and present and future play the triple bill. You can say that my life as her daughter, the life of my imagination, began with my mother's visions."

Available Resources

Related Categories

  • Format: eBook

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780547745718

  • ISBN-10: 0547745710

  • Pages: 272

  • Price: $9.99

  • Publication Date: 10/01/1997

  • Carton Quantity: 1

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