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Caucasia

by Danzy Senna

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9062120,214 (3.97)10
Look out for Danzy Senna's latest book, New People, on sale in August! Birdie and Cole are the daughters of a black father and a white mother, intellectuals and activists in the Civil Rights Movement in 1970s Boston. The sisters are so close that they speak their own language, yet Birdie, with her light skin and straight hair, is often mistaken for white, while Cole is dark enough to fit in with the other kids at school. Despite their differences, Cole is Birdie's confidant, her protector, the mirror by which she understands herself. Then their parents' marriage collapses. One night Birdie watches her father and his new girlfriend drive away with Cole. Soon Birdie and her mother are on the road as well, drifting across the country in search of a new home. But for Birdie, home will always be Cole. Haunted by the loss of her sister, she sets out a desperate search for the family that left her behind. The extraordinary national bestseller that launched Danzy Senna's literary career, Caucasia is a modern classic, at once a powerful coming of age story and a groundbreaking work on identity and race in America. … (more)
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» See also 10 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This novel is kind of an African American/Caucasian version of "The Parent Trap". When the parents split up, the Black parent takes the darker kid, and the Caucasian parent takes the lighter kid. This story is told through the perspective of the lighter kid, who knows about as much about the location of her father and sister for most of the novel as the girls in "The Parent Trap". Somehow, improbably in my opinion, Senna makes it all work. ( )
  TheLoisLevel | Jun 15, 2022 |
Interesting book about race in America, as well as interracial families. There are similarities between the story and the writer's own life, but she changed the mother dramatically for the fiction. ( )
  LuanneCastle | Mar 5, 2022 |
Biracial sisters who look white and black; family divides as the girls grow up in the early 70's. A powerful coming-of-age story and a groundbreaking work on identity and race in America.
  BLTSbraille | Sep 8, 2021 |
This novel left me speechless and emotional. As a mom of of biracial daughter it moved me on levels that are quite obvious but pushed me to think about things that are all too personal to me. Definitely worth reading. Any one who is interested in the complexities of race relations, self-identity, and the personal connections. I want more! So much more. ( )
  kristina_brooke | Apr 15, 2016 |
One of my favorite books of all time--tied for second place with She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb. This convincing, contemporary "coming of age" story about a girl who is technically both "black" and "white" will draw you in and prompt you to think critically about the idea of "race." Narrated from the perspective of a strong girl who doesn't play the victim of race wars but rather wishes she could, I left this novel with contentment rather than outrage for the injustices committed by "the white man" like I usually do!
I LOVE this novel and could read it again and again. I laughed and cried throughout. ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 14, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
added by doomjesse | editKirkus (Dec 1, 1997)
 
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Look out for Danzy Senna's latest book, New People, on sale in August! Birdie and Cole are the daughters of a black father and a white mother, intellectuals and activists in the Civil Rights Movement in 1970s Boston. The sisters are so close that they speak their own language, yet Birdie, with her light skin and straight hair, is often mistaken for white, while Cole is dark enough to fit in with the other kids at school. Despite their differences, Cole is Birdie's confidant, her protector, the mirror by which she understands herself. Then their parents' marriage collapses. One night Birdie watches her father and his new girlfriend drive away with Cole. Soon Birdie and her mother are on the road as well, drifting across the country in search of a new home. But for Birdie, home will always be Cole. Haunted by the loss of her sister, she sets out a desperate search for the family that left her behind. The extraordinary national bestseller that launched Danzy Senna's literary career, Caucasia is a modern classic, at once a powerful coming of age story and a groundbreaking work on identity and race in America. 

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