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Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  227 ratings  ·  68 reviews
“Frank and funny and powerful and surprising. An utterly gorgeous debut.”-Lauren Groff

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, ram
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing
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4.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  227 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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Adam Dalva
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I came to this extraordinary memoir of linked essays through "The Feels of Love," a gobsmackingly good essay that the author wrote for Guernica Magazine. "The Feels of Love," which I have taught in every writing class since 2016, is a wrenching, vivid look at the rippling consequences of teenage sexual assault. I was excited for LLtToFG (great title!), and could only hope that the other essays would match the experience. And, somehow, it exceeded it.

The stories of Madden's life are so fascinati
Valerity (Val)
Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls: A Memoir

This was a quite gritty, but real memoir, written about a young girl growing up in Florida with a mother who was involved with someone else’s husband at first. They eventually got together and married, but it was not an auspicious beginning. The girl seems to grow up under a bit of a cloud, with a mannequin for a housemate and eventually dealing with both parents having sobriety issues. She has two step-brothers but they don’t really become close,
Brittany | thebookishfiiasco
‘Focus, he says. Move it. Put the hurt somewhere else.’
memoirs have always been my favorite. there is something that feels so healing and honest to me about taking that leap and putting it all out there. it’s an authenticity and an experience i never want to take for granted. Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by @tkmadden was no exception to this feeling, and is a memoir worthy of all your attention.
there was something so fascinating about this reading experience— like Madden has the abi
Cindy H.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
WOW! Thank you NetGalley for this powerful and painful memoir so bravely and beautifully written by T. Kira Madden. In exchange for the ARC I offer my unbiased review.

I fell for the title before I even knew what I was requesting. This is one of the most heart wrenching memoirs I have read, not because the story is so shocking or astonishing but it’s just so honest and unflinching in its delivery. T Kira Madden has a natural gift for storytelling and I was a willing listener. My mommy heart was
Lindsay Hunter
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could give 10 stars. I cried as it ended. A gorgeous and raw book.
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
. When this galley passed through my "you might enjoy this" I wasn't so sure at first - reading the memoir of someone who grew up with what appears to be a sizeable little pile of privilege isn't usually my steez, but I'd actually found my way to this Prada-bespectacled author via my newest Twitter account the same day I'd seen this book on NetGalley.

Since I am, in the end, a bit of a memoir junkie, I decided to give it a go, got behind on my studies even, and had to decode a pretty oddly-format
Meakin Armstrong
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is affecting — it’ll make you cry and laugh—but it’ll also teach you a thing or two. Men need to read this, most of all.
Lolly K Dandeneau
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
via my blog:
'I wanted love the size of a fist. Something I could hold, something hot knuckled and alive.'

Growing up as a privileged child isn’t always as glorious as the rest of us think, and of course no one wants to hear you complain because you have all that wealth, the private schools, horses, fantastic shoes but as a biracial child coming of age in Boca Raton, Florida -T Kira Madden struggles mightily. Born as a love child, early childhood begins with
Cassie (book__gal)
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This memoir is everything I search for in writing. Hopeful in spite of loss, redeeming without letting cruelty off the hook, and searching for truth. How do we love people when they continually disappoint us? When they fail us? Are there some people that are impossible to untangle ourselves from, like our parents, our families? Will we always love these people so much? These are questions that have always seemed unanswerable to me. Whether Madden meant to answer or not, I found some responses to ...more
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
T Kira Madden has written a beautiful memoir – poetic, painful, honest. Despite the title, which may made me think that perhaps Madden didn’t have a family, it was quite the opposite. Madden has a family, and many members make an appearance, but at many times, she is as alone as if she doesn’t have a father. Growing up, her parents struggled with drugs and alcohol, and Madden would find herself navigating her most awkward moments of her childhood and adolescence with glimpses of her family versu ...more
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So. Freaking. Good. <3 Review to come in NPR.
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If I could give this memoir all the stars in the world, I would. It wrecked me hard and slowly put me back together again. I can’t put much more into words to do this any justice, so I’ll leave you with hers.

“The two of us dip our legs in the water, sit on the lip of the pool. When I think of my father, I think of my heart breaking in stages. A dull pain, then piercing. Electric. Still, somehow, gradual. The way his legs look in this swimming pool today—that’s the first stage of my grief. E
Chelsea Bieker
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just love this book-this sort of memoir doesn’t come around too often. Madden performs a kind of magic here—at once a page turner, coming of age, heart racing mystery, full of ache and sting. I have read this multiple times and read it again and again for truth. A complete and utter stunner of a book.
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"There is always the point at which a story changes. A good story must always change its terms."

"I want to reach through the years and tell the women I've been lonely."

Exactly one year ago, I read Melissa Febos' 'Abandon Me' for the first time. And if you have ever talked to me for more that 30 seconds, you've heard me gush about that book- how much it transformed me as a reader, writer, and human being; how much it moved me, worked itself into my brain and became a part of my DNA, building itse
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love a good, gritty memoir, so Madden's book (one I chose primarily for the incredible title) definitely delivered. Madden (related to the Steve Madden shoe company) lived a strange childhood filled with drug-addled parents and a painful private school experience, and this backdrop created some truly odd and unique memories to recount. I think Madden has a wonderful way with words - her writing is graphic, intense, and insanely honest. I did have a hard time with how much the book jumped aroun ...more
Claire M.
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book surprised me in so many ways. As someone who is biracial and grew up in a city where I was often the only person of a different ethnicity in my advanced courses, I found myself thinking of my own experiences as I read. I cried many times as she struggled to parent herself, while facing assault, neglect, and confusion throughout the book. My heart broke as she continually tried to connect with her loved ones, but never seemed to have the relationship she desired.
Melissa Dee
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book makes me want to cry, and rage, and howl. This girl was not only fatherless, she was motherless, grandmother-less, friend-less and community-less. There is something very wrong in a society that lets this child think that being raped by two teen-agers in the back of a car at a mall is an expression of love. And yet, as T. Kira replays her life, and her mother’s life and her father’s life, you begin to wonder if everyone is always doing the best they can with really terrible material. I ...more
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sparkling and glancingly reflective as memory itself, tender without being exploitative
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoiry, queer-and
This might be the best book about love amid dysfunction I've ever read. I am in awe of this book & will be rereading it for a long time to come.
Lilly Dancyger
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am going to be telling people about this book for the rest of my life. Happy pub day, T Kira!
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, 2019-4
From the title alone, I figured I was getting into a memoir that dealt heavily with grief. And while it did, there was so much more in this novel...there were themes of addiction, trauma from sexual assault, bi-racial and queer identity, and forgiveness.

From the first page, T Kira Madden writes with an integrity that forces her readers to become emotionally involved very quickly. As a young bi-racial child, Madden was raised by her single (Chinese-Hawaiian) mother (her father (white) was actuall
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written memoir that had me in tears throughout. This memoir serves as an inspiration for so many "fatherless" girls and what it means to be seen. It's also a tribute and stunning homage to her beautiful warrior mother. There were many parts that reminded me of the brilliant Lidia Yuknavich's Chronology of Water. I highlighted so many sentences throughout and honestly said "WTF" and "me too" aloud so many times. I have never seen myself in a memoir before. The book brings back fond me ...more
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
I really enjoy memoirs. Usually, when I pick up a memoir, I know a little something about the author.  I didn't know a single thing about T Kira Madden going into this. This woman is bi-racial, gay, and grew up with wealthy parents with substance abuse problems. While I can't personally relate to those aspects of her life, I found her stories about being an awkward young girl trying to navigate adolescent relationships with both boys and girls to be very familiar. I had to chuckle a few times wh ...more
Kati Kostyk
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
Memoir is not for everyone, but it is my favorite genre of all time. So if you like real life, with it’s messiness and flaws and lack of promises to fulfill you, then this is for you.

T Kira Madden gives you more than pieces of her life. She gives you an experience. You ride her waves and feel every splash.

I’m so very close to the generation that Madden lives through, so I thoroughly related to the world she described. Sometimes I didn’t know whose story was being told, hers or mine.

At the same t
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
This is the story of a young woman who grows up in a household with neglectful parents who are too focused on their own addictions to parent. While this is not a commentary on Ms. Madden's life, I had problems with the presentation. I felt like a framework for the story was missing. I didn't feel the environment, as stated in the book summary, was illustrated as anything different than what many teens go through. Too many parts of Ms. Madden's life were just missing. I also struggled with a non- ...more
Jade Miller
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this book over the summer- which is a very chaotic time for me. However, despite my crazy work schedule I was able to finish Long Live Tribe of Fatherless Girls in 2 days! Madden's story telling ability blew me away. To be honest I am not even a huge book person. For my fellow "one book a year
" people, this book is for us! It's so hard to type without giving away too much! It's so crazy how intense, funy, sad, moving, and inpsiring this book is all at once! I can't wait to get my hands on
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This memoir stopped me in my tracks. Madden’s writing is so striking, so precise, so honest—her debut reminded me of Lydia Yuknavitch in style, but with a rawness uninfluenced by other writers. This book is at times painful, and any reader would feel wrenched by the situations Madden describes. But her doggedness to survive, even when she thinks she doesn’t want to, is the ultimate redeemer of her story—a story that is worth every minute of your time.
Garrett Kim
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Book of the year
This is my new favorite memoir. No wonder Madden is an amateur magician. It's magic the way she reveals elements of her life, her memories, to link the essays together. At the end, I made the same noise I make after a really good magic trick or a particularly spectacular firework. This book is that good.
Veronica (OnWednesdaysWeRead_)
Thank you, Net Galley for the ARC . All opinions are my own.

I enjoyed this collection of essays. The author writes beautifully and her descriptions made her story that much more enjoyable. Now, I cannot relate to her experiences growing, but I did grow up within the same city. Not Boca, but Miami and Hollywood. There were certain stories of hers that resonated with me more than others. Again, this story was beautifully written. It did read like a eulogy almost. I give this one 3.5 stars ⭐
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“You ever sit in the car, or in a window seat on the subway, and the car or train next to you starts to move? And you think you're the one moving? And you'd swear by it? And sometimes, in your stomach, you can even feel it? That. I say. That's what life's like now.” 2 likes
“When I think of my father, I think of my heart breaking in stages. A dull pain, then piercing. Electric. Still, somehow, gradual.” 1 likes
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