At age nineteen, A. D. Miller sat in a jail cell. His crime? He passed a white girl a note that read, “I would like to know you better.” For this he was accused of attempted rape.
Ticket to Exile recounts Miller’s coming-of-age in Depression-era Orangeburg, South Carolina. A closet rebel who successfully evades the worst strictures of a racially segregated small town, Miller reconstructs the sights, sounds, and social complexities of the pre-civil rights South. By the time he is forced into exile, we realize that this fate was inevitable for a young man too intelligent and aware of the limitations of his society to remain there without disastrous consequences.
Winner of the PubWest Book Design Award 2008.
Praises for Ticket to Exile
“Lyrical at times, incisive at others, humorous, and moving, but never, ever sentimental or hyperbolic…We are accompanied in Ticket to Exileby an indomitable, always inquisitive, ever playful narrator, who, despite limits and obstacles, refuses to back down.”
—Jane Anne Staw, author of Unstuck: A Supportive and Practical Guide to Working Through Writer’s Block.”
“Ticket to Exile is both a tender and revealing biography and a sober social-historical document of a time and place that summoned some among us to quiet, but extraordinary dignity and courage.”
—Peter Buttross, Jr., author of Natchez Cantos: Poems
“In a world where we are accustomed to soundbites uttered in nano-seconds, Ticket to Exile provides an opportunity to slow down, settle in, and share in the life of another person.”
—Luisah Teish, author of Jump Up: Seasonal Celebrations from the World’s Deep Traditions.
“Adam David Miller keeps his ear to the ground and a keen poet’s eye on the world around him in accounts of his life from birth to manhood. How he struggles to obtain a ticket out of those environs is like nothing you’ve ever heard.”
––Mei Nakano, author of Japanese American Women: Three Generations, 1890-1990
“In the course of Adam David Miller’s exploration of the meaning of his own past and of the subtleties of black-white relations, he illuminates historical trends essential in understanding his region and this country.”
––Phyllis Bischof, co-author of Bibliographies for African Studies, 1987-1993
“A coming of age tale with a singular bite.”
––Gerald Haslam, author of Haslam’s Valley
“Ticket to Exile is a shining light. a glowing beam of human experience and inner truth cutting through the bitter fog of racism, the vein of fear and cruelty that has shrouded American history.”
––Joyce Jenkins, editor of Poetry Flash