Lucille Lang Day, a Bay Area writer and director of a small press, grew up in Piedmont, a small city surrounded by Oakland. As a girl of 12 years old, she knew she wanted to get married and began looking for a husband.
As a preteen in the early 1960s, she became bored with school, began smoking and owned a switchblade knife. The idea she was a delinquent would be easy enough to accept but, as it turns out, Lang Day is anything but ordinary.
Lang Day's first book for adults, "Married at Fourteen (Heyday Books, $16.95)," is a moving memoir of a woman who overcomes stereotypes common of the era and rediscovers a thirst for knowledge.
Lang Day came of age during the psychedelic, turbulent 60s, graduating from Cal-Berkeley with a PhD in 1971. Berkeley was the center of the free speech and anti-Vietnam movement at the time.
Lang Day's story, though, is far more personal and engrossing. While far-reaching events unfolded around her, she's busy creating her own story.
She was independent before women thought they could be independent and she learned to ask for help later in life. Lang Day never hid her intelligence or her desires.
More important, this is a story of survival, of finding the truth for oneself and taking the path less traveled.
She dedicates the book to her daughters, Lianna and Tamarind, who play an important role in this story. Also dedicated to her husband, Richard, Lang Day pulls no punches.
Lang Day has published five books of poetry, three poetry chapbooks, a children's book and worked with authors in science education.
This is her journey and yet speaks to us in ways only shared stories can touch us. This is not some seedy, sex-crazed woman but one who found her voice.
Lang Day will be reading from her book and signing copies on Friday at 7 p.m. at Nefeli Cafe, 1854 Euclid Ave., Berkeley.