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Kitchen Privileges is a book that I feel as though I have been writing ever since I was twelve years old.
In these pages, I've tried to show how my mother's belief in me kept alive my dream to be a writer. My father's early death left her with three young children to support. A generation later my husband's early death left me in exactly that position except that I had five children.
Mother supported us by renting rooms, allowing our paying guests to have the privilege of preparing light meals in the kitchen. I supported my family by writing radio shows. Very early in the morning I put my typewriter on the kitchen table before I went to work in Manhattan and spent a few privileged and priceless hours working on my first novel.
I have found that dreams do come true, and I hope that anyone reading this book may feel encouraged to follow his or her own dreams even when the odds against achieving them seem great.
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My first conscious memory is of being three years old and looking down at my new baby brother with a mixture of curiosity and distress. His crib had not been delivered on time, and he was sleeping in my doll carriage, thereby displacing my favorite doll, who was ready for her nap.
Luke and Nora, my father and mother, had kept company for seven years, a typical Irish courtship. He was forty-two and she pushing forty when they finally tied the knot. They had Joseph within the year; me, Mary, nineteen months later; and Mother celebrated her forty-fifth birthday by giving birth to Johnny. The story is that when the...
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