Judith Kirwan Kelley provides a unique “lived” perspective on growing up in Dorchester, Massachusetts, during tumultuous socio-political times. Deeply impacted by the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the decade of the 1960s dramatically shaped the contexts of living in America. The changing family as well as the social movements for Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, Gay Rights, Rights of the Disabled, the sexual revolution, among other forms of cultural upheaval, all played their part in the life of one Originally from Dorchester (OFD).
Written with humor and pathos, the stories are based on the author’s experiences, backed up by a comprehensive investigation of written sources which explore the complex history of mandatory school desegregation in Boston, and other cultural phenomena occurring at the time. Kirwan Kelley’s detailed elaborations of family, neighborhood, and complex cultural dynamics are reflective of both the consistency and unpredictability of life. Intended to inform as well as to entertain, Kirwan Kelley clearly demonstrates appreciation of having come of age in Dorchester. She is, and always will be, a Dorchester Girl at heart.
About the Author
Judith Kirwan Kelley was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1954, and lived there until the family joined in suburban migration, otherwise known as “white flight,” in 1969. One of seven children in a typical Irish Catholic family, her relatives included, among others, Boston police officers, laborers, and housewives. Kirwan Kelley, a scholar with a Brown University PhD in Sociology, considers herself a lifetime creative writer. However, Kirwan Kelley’s most valuable roles are as a socially conscious, married mother of three adult daughters, and Mimi to her six grandchildren. Storytelling has always been part of her life.