Memories fill 'Thirty Rooms' for Rochester, MN, author
"Thirty Rooms to Hide In" is Sullivan's memoir of growing up in Rochester in the 1960s in the home of an alcoholic and abusive father, the late Dr. Charles R. Sullivan, a Mayo Clinic orthopedist.
In the book, Sullivan tells how he, his mother and five brothers weathered the emotional storm of growing up in the southwest-side home — which, incidentally, is currently up for sale and the site of a Saturday open house.
This is such an intensely personal story. Why share it?
It's a fairly common story in our culture. Men are crazier than women. They do stupid things. We were no different. In fact, that's why I had trouble selling the book for a long time, is that that the agents said, 'Luke, I love the book, but I can't sell it because the market is flooded.' You can tell me it's a very personal story, but on the other hand ... the more personal something feels, it's more likely the more universal it is. Lots of people have written to me and said, 'Thanks for telling that story. It was a lot the same way in my house.'