Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls: A Memoir

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Mar 5, 2019 - Biography & Autobiography - 336 pages
“The book I wish I'd had growing up.” -Chanel Miller, author of Know My Name

Best Books of 2019: Esquire O, The Oprah Magazine Variety Lit Hub Book Riot Electric Literature Autostraddle
Finalist: NBCC John Leonard First Book Prize Lambda Literary Award
New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice Selection

Paste Best Memoirs of the Decade
Elle Best Books of the Season
Washington Post Best Books of the Month
Indie Next Pick Indies Introduce Pick

"A fearless debut." -New York Times
"[A] gorgeous reckoning." -Washington Post
"Flat out breathtaking." -Lit Hub
"Gripping and gloriously written." -Elle
"Utterly unforgettable." -NYLON
"Unnervingly satisfying." -Oprah Magazine
"Deeply compassionate." -NPR.org
"Truly stunning." -Cosmopolitan

Acclaimed literary essayist T Kira Madden's raw and redemptive debut memoir is about coming of age and reckoning with desire as a queer, biracial teenager amidst the fierce contradictions of Boca Raton, Florida, a place where she found cult-like privilege, shocking racial disparities, rampant white-collar crime, and powerfully destructive standards of beauty hiding in plain sight.

As a child, Madden lived a life of extravagance, from her exclusive private school to her equestrian trophies and designer shoe-brand name. But under the surface was a wild instability. The only child of parents continually battling drug and alcohol addictions, Madden confronted her environment alone. Facing a culture of assault and objectification, she found lifelines in the desperately loving friendships of fatherless girls.

With unflinching honesty and lyrical prose, spanning from 1960s Hawai'i to the present-day struggle of a young woman mourning the loss of a father while unearthing truths that reframe her reality, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls is equal parts eulogy and love letter. It's a story about trauma and forgiveness, about families of blood and affinity, both lost and found, unmade and rebuilt, crooked and beautiful.

One of the Most Anticipated Books of the Year: Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, The Millions, Nylon, The Rumpus, Electric Literature, Lit Hub, Refinery29, and many more

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - larryerick - LibraryThing

As I approached the end of this book, I asked myself how I was going to explain why I enjoyed reading it so much. I most certainly wasn't an obvious target for its contents. The author is female ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - NML_dc - LibraryThing

This style of memoir constructed from essays doesn't really work for me. Read full review

Selected pages


Even the Dogs
Show Name
The Feels of Love
Cousin Cindy
How to Survive in Boca Raton
People Like Them

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About the author (2019)

T Kira Madden is an APIA writer, photographer, and amateur magician living in Charleston, South Carolina. A NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in nonfiction, she has received fellowships from MacDowell, Hedgebrook, Tin House, DISQUIET, Summer Literary Seminars, and Yaddo, where she was selected for the Linda Collins Endowed Residency Award. Her debut memoir, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls, was a New York Times Editors' Choice selection, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, and a finalist for the LAMBDA Literary Award for lesbian memoir. She is the founding editor-in-chief of the journal No Tokens, and facilitates writing workshops for homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals. In 2021 she was awarded LAMBDA Literary's Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging LGBTQ Writers. She teaches at the College of Charleston.

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