Notes from No Man's Land American Essays
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Description: Winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize A frank and fascinating exploration of race and racial identity The wordpioneerbetrays a disturbing willingness to repeat the worst mistake of the pioneers of the American Westthe mistake of considering an inhabited place uninhabited. To imagine oneself as a pioneer in a place as densely populated as Chicago is either to deny the existence of your neighbors or to cast them as natives who must be displaced. Either way, it is a hostile fantasy. Eula Biss grew up white in what she calls a "mixed" family. Her take on race is informed by her cousins, whose father was from Jamaica, and her mother, who adopts a West African religion and resists the confines of whiteness. In these essays, Biss considers the legacy of Reconstruction in the public-school classrooms where she teaches, and questions the mandate to make her students "better people." She remembers the white and black dolls she shared with her sister in light of the famous doll studies of Mamie and Kenneth Clark, and she rereads Laura Ingalls Wilder as she settles into the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. Never hesitating to face the sometimes embarrassing answers to her own difficult questions, Biss still remains hopeful about the possibilities of diversity, "not the sun-shininess of it, or
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List price: $16.00
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication date: 2/3/2009
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 1.00" tall