Books by Carole Ione

Released: Aug. 1, 1991

Psychotherapist Ione's emotional family history focuses on the legacy of three generations of her African-American foremothers, exploring the roots of her own upbringing in a fragmented nuclear family. As a child, Ione, like her mother before her, was often deposited in the house of her great-aunt Sistone, one of the first black women doctors in Washington, D.C. But when Ione's grandmother, Be-Be, retired from her vaudeville career to establish a successful home-based soul-food restaurant in Saratoga Springs- -one whose patrons included Andy Warhol and New York State Governor Hugh Carey—Be-Be's house became Ione's new home—a happy event for Ione, but one arriving too late to placate her mother, whose smoldering resentment of Be-Be was mirrored in her often stormy relationship with Ione. Ione's struggle to understand this family strife began to resolve only when, as an adult, she learned that her paternal great-grandmother, Frances ``Frank'' Rollin Whipper, once married to a South Carolina judge, had in fact earlier been a renowned intellectual, activist, and biographer in Boston. Reading Frank's diary, Ione discovered that ``my great-grandmother was a woman who went to art galleries and quoted poetry.'' Although the diary ends with Frank's marriage, Ione, using public archives, continued to uncover Frank's life, finding in her grandmother the superwoman whose high achievements subsequent generations of women could never match. An unsparing, honest, and courageous family document. (Eight pages of b&w photographs—not seen.) Read full book review >