Dyer, Joyce. Goosetown: Reconstructing an Akron Neighborhood. Akron, Ohio; The University of Akron Press, 2010.

Dyer’s Goosetown is a kind of sequel to her memoir Gum-Dipped (2003), the story of her childhood growing up, mostly, in the Firestone Park neighborhood of Akron of the 50s and 60s. It is a sequel in the sense that it was chronologically written after the first work. But the two works are fundamentally opposites. Where Gum-Dipped was told more from the author’s memory, Goosetown is a collection of things forgotten. This makes for an intriguing read. The style is not experimental in confusing the reader, but Dyer is able to craft a story out of a handful of divergent family lore and the memories of surviving family from the neighborhood.

For Dyer’s mother’s family Goosetown was the “old neighborhood.” It is where she spent the first five years of her life and it was the neighborhood her mother’s generation left for greener pastures. The general premise of the story is that Dyer visits the remnants of the neighborhood (along Grant Street from Exchange to where Interstate 76/77 exists today) with her uncle Paul, who grew up in and lived the early years of his marriage in the now lost/changed community. Continue reading