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In Matt Smith's autobiographical tale MY LAST YEAR WITH THE NUNS, the universe of his eighth grade self is about ten blocks long. Smith and his friends roam the heavily Catholic Capitol Hill neighborhoods of Seattle, Washington in the late 1960s wandering from St. Joseph's Church to the Seattle Times newspaper shack, from school playgrounds to a murky and tangled ravine that cuts through the city. The paper shack lies on the edge of the racial "red line" drawn to enforce the era's prejudice, providing a rare forum where white and black kids come together for a few minutes each day before returning to their segregated streets and lives.

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