Schnee in Alabama.
"The mulatto in America functions as a canary in a coal mine. Canaries were used by coal miners to gauge how poisonous the air underground was. They would bring a canary in with them, and if it grew sick and died they knew the air was bad and eventually everyone would be poisoned by the fumes. Likewise, mulattos have historically been the gauge of how poisonous American race relations were. The fate of th ...more
Danzy Senna's first novel, Caucasia, is a story of traumatic dislocation, disorientation, and confused ethnic identity, set in 1970s and 80s Boston and intermittently in other places. It's the story of Birdie Lee, her older sister, and her parents--the neurotic, bro ...more
But the story isn't really about these two, the intellectual and the pra ...more
Birdie, the main character, is a young mixed race girl growing up in Boston in the late seventies with her white mother, black father, and sister Cole, who is darker than her. Birdie can pass as white, and she feels like she doesn't fit in anywhere or in any race. Her mother, a radical a ...more
Not my favorite book I must honestly say, because of the strong resemblence between the tentativeness of the relationship between mother and daughter; it was very real and down to earth, which is okay, no problem with that, just ...more
It's a complex book, about race, about adolescence, and about the way that life wounds us. While some might roll their eyes at some of the plot twists, the character development is first rate and the obvious emotion behind the issues is admirable - given this is her first novel.
I related to so much of t ...more
2015 Reading Challenge: A book that takes place ...more
The story centers around the 60s-70s civil rights movement, which split up the girls (Cole lives with her father and Birdie with her mother) and wha ...more
Caucasia is really, in the end, too much ab ...more
as someone who has never taken any classes where race relations were addressed in any capacity, i also liked both parents' rants. i particularly liked how dad becomes a sort of prisoner of his intellect towards ...more
I found this to be an interesting book because Denzy Senna does a superb job of flavoring her story with an interesting combination of culture, politics and race relationships in a believable manner.
This is a good novel. I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys reading about family relationships, radical politics and a coming of age story that is unique because of the family circu ...more
This book is the best. A high stakes adventure: mother and daughter on the lam from not only the feds but also from external and internalized racism and the hegemonic power structures that perpetuate them and infiltrate their lives on multiple, incredibly well-detailed and developed levels!
(view spoiler)[The daughter, Birdie Lee, might be the most exquisitely developed fictional characters I've come across in a long time -- time after time, you get to see how the way her various environments...more
This novel begins with Birdie’s first memories, and ends with her as a fifteen-year-old. Novels with children as protagonists can be limited or precious, but this one never falls into any of the usual traps. Birdie’s process of becoming more se ...more
In fun news, she was a special faculty member at Holy Cross while we were there and Kristen took a writing class from her!...I have some signed copies of the book!
She attended Stanford University and received an MFA from the University of California at Irvine. There, she received several creative writing awards.
Her debut novel, Caucasia ...more