Down These Mean Streets

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Down These Mean Streets

Format:  Paperback,

340 pages

Edition: Anniversary

Publisher: Random House Inc

Publish Date: Dec 1997

ISBN-13: 9780679781424

ISBN-10: 0679781420

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.
Piri Thomas's classic memoir of the barrio of Spanish Harlem celebrates its thirtieth anniversary of publication. Down These Mean Streets captures both the harrowing facts of his life and the irrepressible rhythms of his voice. As Thomas recounts his transformation from gang member, junkie, and stick-up man to poet of the streets, his memoir breathes new meaning into our notions of manhood, survival, and redemption.


Publisher: Random House Inc
Publish Date: Dec 1997
ISBN-13: 9780679781424
ISBN-10: 0679781420
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 340
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 0.65
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.75

Chapter outline

Cutting Out
Puerto Rican Paradise
Playing It Smooth
Alien Turf
Home Relief
If You Ain't Got Heart, You Ain't Got Nada
Little Red Schoolhouse
In Business
Babylon for the Babylonians
But Not for Me
How to Be a Negro Without Really Trying
My Marine Tiger
Hung Up Between Two Sticks
Learning Some New ABC's
Brothers Under the Skin
Funeral for a Prodigal Son
Down South
Gonna Find Out What's Shakin'
Barroom Sociology
Las Aguas del Sur
Home, Sweet Harlem
Hung Down
Real Jesse Jameses
Wish It Were You, Trina
If You're Gonna Pray - Then Pray Big
The House of "Do-Right
Breaking In
Mucho Days and Nights in Gray
Sex in the Can
No More Mananas for Us, Trina
Sweatin', Man, Sweatin'
God, Ain't You for Everybody?
Great, Man, Great; I'm Thinking Like a Stone Philosopher
New York Town
Free Side Is the Best Side
Hey, Barrio - I'm Home
I Swears to God and the Virgin
Afterword to the Thirtieth-Anniversary Edition

Book description

Thirty years ago Piri Thomas made literary history with this lacerating, lyrical memoir of his coming of age on the streets of Spanish Harlem. Here was the testament of a born outsider: a Puerto Rican in English-speaking America; a dark-skinned morenito in a family that refused to acknowledge its African blood. Here was an unsparing document of Thomas's plunge into the deadly consolations of drugs, street fighting, and armed robbery--a descent that ended when the twenty-two-year-old Piri was sent to prison for shooting a cop.

As he recounts the journey that took him from adolescence in El Barrio to a lock-up in Sing Sing to the freedom that comes of self-acceptance, faith, and inner confidence, Piri Thomas gives us a book that is as exultant as it is harrowing and whose every page bears the irrepressible rhythm of its author's voice. Thirty years after its first appearance, this classic of manhood, marginalization, survival, and transcendence is available in an anniversary edition with a new Introduction by the author.

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