Show Me the Way to Go Home

Dorothy Jane Cullen Schwartz

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Show Me the Way to Go Home, is the memoir of a 1940s-1950s girlhood in the area around West Orange, New Jersey. Dependent on a pretty but feckless single mother, boarding with relatives and acquaintances, attending many different schools, Dorothy Jane survives sharing beds with not always happy relatives, a spell in a night-care home, playing poker in smoky rooms, and her mother`s raffish companions; recalling adored teachers with clarity.


Dorothy Jane (Deejay) Cullen Schwartz, a retired kindergarten teacher, lives with her husband of fifty years in a small town in New Jersey. They have two daughters and two granddaughters. In contrast to her wandering childhood, she has lived in the same house for more than forty years. Deejay is a life-long anti-war activist.



Reviews:

I often watched Dorothy Jane D.J. Schwartz with my own and others’ children. I watched in awe. From whence came this insight, this ability to connect so deeply and personally with each one?
I thought I knew D.J., but Show Me the Way to Go Home opened the doors to a story I never knew, to suffering I could not have imagined. The book caused me to understand that, deprived as D.J. was of all that made a child feel safe, loved, happy, challenged, good – she devoted her life to ensure that each child with whom she came in contact would know that, if she were near, if she had any input into what might happen, that child would be safe, loved, challenged, nurtured, cared for – with all the love and insight D.J. gained in her life and in her adult career.
It is clear that D.J. paid in spades throughout her young life for her ability to reach the hearts of children and then, to be able to encourage those children to embrace life and to be builders of a better future for the children to come after them.
– Elizabeth McAlister, Johan House, Baltimore
In Dorothy Jane Cullen Schwartz's exceptional memoir, Show Me the Way to Go Home, the author takes us deep inside the little girl Deejay was at six and seven and beyond. The author’s troubled – and at times joyous – childhood is powerfully recorded because of her ability to make us see, hear and feel very clearly what she experienced as a child. There is an extraordinary sense of immediacy that stays with the reader long after she puts the book down. This memoir is not only a story about privation and love; it also takes us on a young girl’s journey to find "her rightful place in the world." Deejay's encounter with the Catholic Church, rendered so humorously and movingly, as she struggles to have something in the world that is her own, and so discovers her "self," is really quite profound.
– Dr. Judith R. Berzon, author of Neither White Nor Black: The Mulatto Character in American Fiction, 1978 Gotham Library of New York University Press
I read Show Me the Way to Go Home over a period of several days, and each time I picked it up to read, it was hard to put down. The photos were a great help. Dorothy Jane’s ability to recall so many details from the past impressed me throughout this remarkable memoir. I can only thank her for sending it to me.
– With gratitude, George Anderson , S.J., America Magazine, assoc. editor

 

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