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Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  1,522 ratings  ·  257 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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T Madden Hi there! Yes, the book is now available on Audible; I narrated! I hope you'll enjoy!

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4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,522 ratings  ·  257 reviews

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Adam Dalva
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Update: Longer thoughts here:

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,
May 11, 2019 rated it liked it
With such raw and emotive prose, reading this book felt like watching a series of bright, vivid movie scenes play one after another. T Kira Madden details her childhood in Boca Raton, Florida, a place of cult-like privilege and crime and extravagance and danger. She writes about her forced foray into independence as the daughter of parents who both dealt with substance addictions, how she faced objectification and formed intense friendships and reckoned with her queer, biracial identity. Long Li ...more
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
Jessica Sullivan
This memoir in essays is so incredibly powerful and heartbreaking. I’m in awe of Madden’s raw talent—this beautiful tribute to her complicated family and herself.

The first half of the book buzzes with late 90s and early 00s nostalgia as Madden recalls her middle school and high school years in Boca Raton, Florida. There’s the Juniper Breeze lotion and the Boys 2 Men playing at seventh grade dances and the harrowing ways that vulnerable teenage girls convince themselves that they own even the mos
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
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.
Jaclyn Crupi
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A memoir in essays, a memoir in moments, a memoir of courage, a memoir of fearlessness. Writers of colour are redefining the genre and this sits perfectly next to Heavy by Kiese Laymon. I let Madden’s words and experiences wash over me and it was a singular and poignant experience. The structural complexity and layering here are stunningly crafted. Mind blown.
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.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
A raw, unflinching and honest memoir. This is so far removed from my childhood it is hard to imagine but T Kira Madden is such a natural storyteller, you are right there in the time and place.
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
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
“When I think of my father, I think of my heart breaking in stages. A dull pain, then piercing. Electric. Still, somehow, gradual.” T Kira Madden [bloomsburypublishing #partner]

last month I read and love T Kira Madden’s Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

This gem is nothing short of amazing — from the way it was written and constructed. The authors voice is very strong — it commands your attention with every detail. It embodies many things as well — parents whom are addicts, queer awakening
Katherine D. Morgan
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I only discovered T Kira last year, but let me tell you: I’m already one of her biggest fans. Seriously. When I found out about her memoir being released, I knew that I had to snag a copy. And snag a copy I did. This book is one of the best memoirs that I’ve ever read, and as someone who reads a lot of memoirs, I don’t say that lightly. Kira writes with such compassion and grace, treating everyone with pure sensitivity, never attempting to hurt anyone. It takes me a long time to read, and I want ...more
Donna Davis
3.5 rounded up. I received this book free and early thanks to Net Galley and Bloomsbury in exchange for this honest review, and I am sorry to be late providing it. The truth is, I couldn’t decide what to do with it. There was a tremendous amount of buzz in advance, and indeed, Madden is a talented word smith. This is also one of the strangest books I have ever read.

In a series of essays, Madden discusses her childhood and adolescence, growing up as an heir to the Madden shoe empire, provided wit
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Bittersweet, poignant, powerful, difficult to read at points. Moving and heartfelt and well written.
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
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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Madden's writing is arresting, it pulls you in and doesn't let go!

The cover of this book is fantastic. It pretty and sparkly, but inside are dark essays where she is incredibly candid about herself and her past. The cover of this book reflects how her life looked growing up from an outsiders view. Her father was wealthy, he drove a fancy car and they lived in a nice house, her uncle was famous for his shoe company. But behind all th
Kelly Hager
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is more of a collection of essays than an actual memoir.

I asked for this for my birthday because I loved the title and the cover, and because it was getting a lot of buzz. I didn't know much else about it (I am a sucker for clever marketing). And I'm glad, because I ended up loving this book so, so much.

It's intense and hard to read in a lot of parts; it's also brilliant and funny. 

This isn't for everyone. It's about a girl who essentially raised herself and who made what a lot of people wo
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely stunning. The writing—sentence by sentence— better than any I’ve read and the emotion, honest beautiful wise — stirred me to tears multiple times reading. Ultimately it is Madden’s generosity permeating every page— every player, and self, the hand outward toward reader that makes this an indelible exquisite read. One I’ll recommend forever to everyone. Thank you for this book.
chantel nouseforaname
This book cut me open.

#1 it's beautifully, poetically, artfully written. T Kira Madden, for a debut memoir - is a fantastic and marvelous writer. I was never bored, I was never thrown off her writing style. It was personal and you could really feel every emotion she went through and every situation she found herself in. Her use of alliteration to punctuate thoughts and her coming back to poignant moments by framing sections and scenes in her life around a few distinct and very particular descri
Paris (parisperusing)
This one got pushed back after a tiresome February/March. However, Long Live started really good and I was entranced by Madden's provocative pen-pal relationship so I will certainly return and review in the future.
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 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So. Freaking. Good. <3 Review to come in NPR.
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
Sachi Argabright
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
LONG LIVE THE TRIBE OF FATHERLESS GIRLS is a haunting memoir set mainly in Boca Raton, Florida. Kira is a biracial queer woman who tells her story in a series of dark but beautiful essays. Underneath her family’s extravagance is a chaotic lifestyle of addiction that often leaves Kira lost and alone. Having to face many heavy issues on her own, she leans on her female friends for support.

Don’t let this absolutely gorgeous cover fool you, this book is a major punch to the gut. I loved Madden’s wri
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
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls is a memoir for the ages but it is difficult to describe. T Kira Madden's life so far could be the basis for a wild TV show. She grew up quite affluent, going to private schools, owning horses etc., but both of her parents struggled with addiction and she experienced racism and mobbing at school. Her families involvement with the "Wolf of Wall Street" stuff makes for a very interesting backdrop ("We are very private people", a young Madden tells a family f ...more
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have so many thoughts and feelings on this amazing book. First off, it's such a strong batch of work--varied personal essays that seamlessly build into a cohesive and stylistically interesting memoir. It actually feels like TWO books to me. The first is the life that T Kira lives in her own heart and body and the second is the unknown tendrils of secrets she discovers after her father's death.
I've known T Kira for a few years now and know she's one of the sweetest people on the planet, but I
Re-read 1, June 2019: listened to the audio, which I knew I would love because I’ve seen Madden read several times. I still freaking love this book. I still had to wipe tears away at the end (and several points throughout). I find true and deep creative inspiration from this book, and I needed some after a long week. Love love love both the print and the audio.

"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 te
Rachel Smalter Hall
T Kira Madden is a certifiable badass who grew up in the sun-scorched land of 'gator infestations and amusement parks, i.e. Florida. Her dad already had another family when she was born to her Chinese-Hawaiian mother, but he eventually left to be with them—although, it seemed, never quite fully. Her uncle, Steve Madden is famous for two things: his shoe company, and his white-collar crimes as portrayed in The Wolf of Wall Street. But now the spotlight is fully on T Kira and her shiver-inducing m ...more
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“When I think of my father, I think of my heart breaking in stages. A dull pain, then piercing. Electric. Still, somehow, gradual.” 2 likes
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