| Quote #10
So I had to stop, relieved in some ways. I shut my mouth, but I felt something alive tearing at my throat, bite by bite, from the inside. Soon there would be three hundred things, and too late to get them out before my mother grew old and died (5.161).
Kingston's sweet determination to share herself with her mom shows us how important her mom is to her life and identity. She wants to tell her mom stories, too.
| Quote #11
What I'll inherit someday is a green address book full of names. I'll send the relatives money, and they'll write me stories about their hunger. My mother has been tearing up the letters from the youngest grandson of her father's third wife. He has been asking for fifty dollars to buy a bicycle. He says a bicycle will change his life (5.186).
The green address book points to a larger network of family that Kingston is not close to but nevertheless feels an obligation to in the name of family.