There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Annie Dillard’s 1987 memoir, An American Childhood, chronicles her upbringing in Pittsburgh in the 1950s. While the stories Dillard tells are unique to her life, her description of a bucolic, middle-class upbringing has resonated with readers for more than 25 years. Now, California Polytechnic State University literature professor and Pittsburgh native John Hampsey shares his own reflections on growing up in the Pennsylvania city in his new memoir, Kaufman’s Hill. From being bullied by a gang of tough neighbors to racial animosity and testing the limits of childhood independence, Hampsey distills vivid moments into lyrical passages on the page. With maturity comes change, both to Hampsey’s life and the world in which he lives. Suddenly, his actions don’t seem as carefree as they once did. When he discusses his memoir at Kramerbooks, expect poignant anecdotes about the joys and struggles of coming of age. John Hampsey reads at 6:30 p.m. at Kramerbooks, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 387-1400. kramers.com.