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Growing Up Harris 


Set against the vibrant backdrop of West Los Angeles during the 50s and 60s, Growing Up Harris tells the story of four siblings—a sister and three brothers—dealing with a mother, a well-known L.A. poet, who day by day was drinking and drugging herself to death; a loving father who was unable to turn the tide of tragedy; a grandmother whose solutions were offered in non sequitur proverbs; and a galaxy of cousins and friends who ran wild with them in their suburban neighborhood.

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Learn more about the four siblings who co-wrote this memoir.


Prior to becoming a professional TV writer and teacher, Geoff worked as Vice-President of Story and Writer Development at NBC, assisting in the development of primetime TV shows in all formats, from comedies and dramas to movies and mini-series. Along with writing his own projects today, he also teaches screenwriting in a low residency MFA Program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He also mentors Latinx writers in the National Hispanic Coalition’s Series Scriptwriters Program, sponsored by Netflix, ABC-Disney, and NBC-Universal, among others. Under his tutelage, more than 50 writers have been staffed on series across all platforms—network, cable, premium cable, and streaming. Geoff holds two master’s degrees, one from Columbia University and the other from University of Notre Dame, and an undergraduate degree from St. John’s College.


James (Jamie) found joy studying cultural and historical geography in college at the University of Oregon, and earned a Master’s degree from the University of Chicago and a PhD from the University of Minnesota. He worked as a professor in that same area of study for decades, retiring in August 2020 as head of the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He’s written many articles and contributed to several textbooks on the subject. Now he is doing a different kind of writing, fiction. His first novel, The Falcon Trail, uses the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) as the backdrop for his murder mystery. He spent nearly a decade teaching at USAFA. Currently, he is writing the second volume in his series, The Limfjord Murders. The latter book is set in Aalborg, Denmark, where he spent a year teaching at Aalborg University, while on sabbatical. The third is in its infancy and is set in the Twin Cities at the University of Minnesota.


Named by The Huffington Post as one of the five American poets to watch, Jonathan Harris received a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from St. John’s College and an MFA in poetry from Pacific University. He is the author of two poetry collections: The Wave That Did Not Break (Tebot Bach Press, 2010, with an afterword by David St. John) and Dream Drive (Night Ballet Press, 2014). He recently completed a third collection, Blowing On Ember. He was recently the Associate Producer for the documentary, The Eye of the Storm. A former Peace Corps volunteer, he lives in the foothills of the Angeles National Forest.

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“What a beautiful piece of work...can’t wait to see the film (or TV series)! What can I say about a book that’s written by four members of the same family about their Mother, who was a wonderful, talented lady but had a dark side that could lite up Dodger Stadium? I couldn’t put it down!” 

- Wally Dalton

I couldn’t put it down!


The gentle sweetness of this beautifully written memoir’s opening poem ("Oh Kind Day", by Jonathan Harris) enthralled me from the moment I began to read. The resilience of the Harris siblings as they recall their “turbulent upbringing" during the 1950’s and 1960’s in West L.A. truly astonished me. 

Funny, heartbreaking, and beautiful


The Harris siblings have managed to write a memoir that is both heart-breaking and funny, chronicling the era just before Los Angeles exploded into the mega-city it is today, when children could roam free and make the as yet unfinished 405 their playground. 

- B. Ryan

A great read about family, time, and place


"I finished this book and will re-read it. I really loved it. Not since the Bible have I read anything so poignant, heart-wrenching and hilarious at the same time. It's really fabulous… What the hell kind of gene pool did these guys swim out of? They’re all talented writers. For real. Love the book."

- Michael Kagan

Love the book.

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