242nd out of 522 books — 191 voters
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Invisible Woman: Growing Up Black in Germany
"In March 1947 I was born. My arrival was celebrated within the inner family circle, quietly and anxiously. When I was a year old, my mother married a white German man; a year later my sister was born. We grew up relatively unburdened during those first five years, just like most children. We felt we were a family, even though I knew that my father was not my real father....more
Hardcover, 158 pages
Published October 7th 2000 by Continuum
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The story of an "occupation baby" from post-WWII Germany, whose African-American heritage caused her mother to send her to an institution for orphans. It is amazing to hear about racism from a European country, especially considering that the causes of WWII should have forced Germans to think twice about the way they treated people who are "different." The memoir is a bit disorganized, and the translation leaves something to be desired in that there are numerous typos and other errors that may c...more
read it for research. kind of a clunky translation and all over the place, but its testimony--she clearly didn't set out to write the Year of Magical Thinking--and the results are still super fascinating, especially the stuff about her childhood. her critique of certain radicalisms (e.g. white feminism) are quite articulate and surprisingly piercing in their simplicity. it's a shame that there aren't more memoirs in translation from this demographic.
I'm not quite sure how I feel about this book. It was a subject I had never read about before and I feel there was a lot I could have learned, but the book is short, and feels really choppy and incomplete. I started out frustrated because the subject matter was horrifying, but ended up frustrated because of the composition of the book itself.