Unfolding in animated, crystalline prose, an emotionally raw, devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age--a tale of gender and identity, freedom and addiction, rebellion and survival in the 1980s and 1990s, when punk, poverty, heroin, and art collided in the urban bohemia of New York's Lower East Side.Born into the beautiful bedlam of downtown New York in the '80s, iO Tillett Wright came of age at the intersection of punk, poverty, heroin, and art. This was a world of self-invented characters, glamorous superstars, and strung out sufferers, ground zero of drag and performance art. Still, no personality was more vibrant and formidable than her mother Rhonna, a showgirl and young widow, a mercurial, erratic Glamazon who was iO's fiercest defender and only authority in a world with few boundaries and even fewer indicators of normal life. At the center of Darling Days is the remarkable relationship between a fiery kid and her domineering Ma--a bond defined by freedom and control, excess and sacrifice, by heartbreaking deprivation, agonizing rupture and, ultimately, forgiveness. Darling Days is also a provocative examination of culture and identity, of the instincts that shape us and the norms that deform us, and of the courage and resilience of a child listening closely to her deepest self. When a group of boys refuse to let six-year-old iO play ball, she instantly adopts a new persona, becoming a boy named Ricky, a choice her parents support and celebrate. It is the start of a profound exploration of gender and identity through the tenderest years, and the beginning of a life invented and reinvented at every step. Alternating between the harrowing and the hilarious, Darling Days is the candid, tough, and stirring memoir of a young person in search of an authentic self as her family and home life devolve into chaos.