Growing up amidst the power politics of 1970s America, Birdie and her older sister Cole are so close they speak their own language. Daughters of a white activist mother and a black academic father, Birdie appears white, Cole black, their relationship a refuge from the rest of their lives. Yet when their parents separate, Birdie and Cole are thrown worlds apart. But Birdie's desperate need to reclaim her family forces her back on to the road, where her search for her sister becomes, inevitably, a search for her self. 'Twists serious issues - race, politics, identity, social and familial responsibility - around the structure of a compelling storyline ...an intelligent, questioning book that sparks with ideas' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
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(198mm x 129mm x 27mm)
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
From the pen of Boston author Senna, comes this beautifully written debut, a deeply charged look into the facets of mixed raced relationships, with a no-holds-barred attitude to its subject. Its main protagonist, eight-year-old Birdie, is the youngest daughter of a white revolutionary mother, Sandy, and a black middle class father, Deck. Her sister Cole is dark enough to pass as 'pure' black, while Birdie herself is light-skinned enough to pass for Jewish. This causes some discomfort in an already tense family environment, though the sisters are as close as identical twins. Deck constantly worries whether he's black enough to be part of 'the race', finding Cole an easier daughter to relate to. All this comes to a head when Sandy's revolutionary antics force the family to leave Boston, with the FBI in hot pursuit. Birdie and Sandy go to ground in Mexico. Years pass before the sisters are reunited. As we follow Birdie and her mother on their journey of re-invention, passing for a Jewish mother and child to escape arrest and captivity, the character of Birdie is constantly made to evaluate the question of race. This allows Senna to unfold a classic tale of deception, though Birdie never fully submits to her chosen role. Senna's captivating prose drives this simplistic story, her protagonist so lovingly rendered, I wished her authoritative narration would never end. This is a novel that once started, will soon be devoured. We can only wait in anticipation of the next. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Danzy Senna
Danzy Senna was born in Boston in 1970. She graduated from Stanford University and received her MFA in creative writing from the University of California. FROM CAUCASIA, WITH LOVE is her first novel.