We take a moment to depart from reporting our usual dry legal books to mention an upcoming publication with a strong local association. The story of Cupcake Brown affirms the incredible resilience of the human spirit in the face of crushing adversity. Ms. Brown was abandoned, abused, addicted, and seemingly doomed to the ignominious death of a crack addict. But in an amazing reversal she salvaged her humanity and conquered her multiple addictions. She is also a graduate of USF Law (where she worked in the law library) and practices law here in San Francisco. Since graduation she has written the story of her life in A Piece of Cake: A Memoir, which will be published at the end of February. It is an unfortunate twist of fate that the work of fiction-writing "memoirists" such as James Frey may have tainted the whole genre of dramatic autobiography. It certainly would be a shame if the fallout from the Frey debacle kept anyone from reading Cupcake’s remarkable story.
Some trenchant reviews of A Piece of Cake:
Review by Janet Maslin in the New York Times (free registration required)
Review by Christina Eng in the San Francisco Chronicle
[update] CBS News Early Show Segment:
From Torment To Triumph: Cupcake Brown [March 14, 2006]