Monadarling’s Blog

Breaking Night: My Journey from Homeless to Harvard

Posted on: January 17, 2011

Breaking Night is an autobiography by Elizabeth “Liz” Murray. Liz Murray, in her book, takes the reader through an intricate and excruciating journey of her life.

Liz Murray has come forward with the story of her life up to now, growing up with alcoholic and drug-addicted parents, who, though they loved her, certainly were not able to care for her and her sister.

To see ones parent’s drinking; to go hungry; to be a child of the streets, because that’s where you find people who love you; to skip school and finally to be confined in a home is indeed not anyone’s dream but it certainly was Murray’s reality. A reality that Murray turned into a dream. Liz Murray shakes herself out of misfortune and gets herself back into high school, and finally into Harvard. She is able to forgive her father, and accept him as who he is, and to work through all the tremendously hurtful things of her mother’s life and her tragic death from AIDS. Told with astounding sincerity, “Breaking Night” is the breathtaking and inspirational story of how a young woman, born into a world without hope, used every ounce of strength and determination to steer herself towards a brighter future. Beautifully written, it is a poignant, evocative and stirring portrait of struggle, desperation, forgiveness and survival.

Hair-raising, tense and ultimately inspiring!!!!!!!!!!!

Here’s an insight into Liz Murray’s life……………………..

Murray was born in the Bronx, New York, to poor, drug-addicted, HIV-infected parents. Her mother died of AIDS when Murray was 15 and her father moved to a shelter and Murray became homeless. Murray’s life turned around when she began attending the Humanities Preparatory Academy in Chelsea, Manhattan and graduated in two years. She remained without a stable home while supporting herself and her sister. Liz Murray was awarded a New York Times scholarship for needy students and was accepted into Harvard University. She matriculated in 2000. She left Harvard in 2001 to care for her sick father and to start motivational speaking. She resumed her education at Columbia University in late 2001 after her father died of AIDS. She eventually returned to Harvard in 2006 and graduated in June 2009.

Liz Murray is the founder and director of Manifest Living, a company that provides a series of workshops that empower adults to create extraordinary things in their lives.

She was also invited to the Oprah Winfrey Show as one of the first recipients of Oprah’s Chutzpah Award.

Liz Murray’s life story has been made into a movie titled Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story, featuring Thora Birch, directed by Peter Levin in 2003


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