ALEX STEIN

MEMPHIS MINNIE, GENOCIDE, AND IDENTITY POLITICS:A CONVERSATION WITH ALEX STEIN

LDC: My mother taught me irony. She didn't graduate from high school. She was an excellent student, but there were no opportunities for her, living under Jim Crow. She didn't want me to become bitter—as she was—so she didn't want me to harbor these dreams, these grand illusions that I was going to grow up and be this big-time professor in some major university. She used to tell me, as she'd be making me clean the toilet twelve or fourteen times until it was spotless, that no one is ever going to pay me to read books. Pretty ironic, since it is practically all that I do now.