The World I Know: The Diary of a Southwest Philly Girl by Celeste Harmer

The year is 1985: Ronald Reagan is president, big hair is all the rage, and Madonna is burning up the pop charts. In the Elmwood section of Southwest Philadelphia, Catholic schoolgirl Janet Kramer keeps a diary. Through her words, she paints vignettes of her life in this isolated corner of the city, a life centered…

The year is 1985: Ronald Reagan is president, big hair is all the rage, and Madonna is burning up the pop charts. In the Elmwood section of Southwest Philadelphia, Catholic schoolgirl Janet Kramer keeps a diary. Through her words, she paints vignettes of her life in this isolated corner of the city, a life centered around her close-knit, blue-collar family; her loyal friends; her high school; and her true love, the son of an Elmwood mobster.

Beyond her family’s row home on Reedland Street, Janet’s world is hardly idyllic: a mall shooting breaks out in the Philadelphia suburbs, racial tensions boil over into Elmwood’s streets, a space shuttle explodes, a mob war erupts in Elmwood, and a Soviet nuclear reactor melts down. Janet documents it all in her diary as her life moves against a backdrop of a new era in Elmwood and in the world. No matter what changes it brings, her heart and soul will forever remain in 1980s Elmwood. In a world that is gone.
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About the Author

Celeste Harmer is a native of Southwest Philadelphia and grew up in the nearby suburban town of Sharon Hill. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in art history, Summa Cum Laude, from Rosemont College and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in accounting. She is the recipient of numerous academic awards and distinctions, chief among them selection for the All-Pennsylvania Academic Team, election to the post of president of the Alpha Tau Epsilon chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at Delaware County Community College, and membership in both the Alpha Omicron chapter of Delta Epsilon Sigma and the Gertrude Kistler Honor Society of Rosemont College.

Celeste’s hobbies are art, physical fitness, and travel. She has both lived and traveled abroad, with her wanderings taking her to the Caribbean, Canada, Spain, and France, as well to much of the United States. She lives in suburban Philadelphia with her husband Edward and their three cats.

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