Mama’s Boy: A Story from Our Americas
by Dustin Lance Black
Knopf. 406 pages, $27.95
FROM the opening pages of this heart-felt memoir, Mama’s Boy: A Story from Our Americas, by Dustin Lance Black, we learn that it is not only a story about his life’s journey but also of his mother Anne and her remarkable life story. While Black has been famous ever since he won an Oscar for his screenplay of Milk (2008), his mother was not well known. But her story is brave and exceptional, proving that you don’t have to be famous to be inspiring.
Born to a deeply religious and impoverished family in Louisiana, Rose Anna Whitehead was stricken with polio when she was two years old. After enduring numerous surgeries on her legs and spine, she was finally able to walk with the help of leg braces and crutches. Told she would never be able to have children and that her hopes for marriage were slim, she would defy all that.
William Burton is a writer based in Provincetown, Mass.