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Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  6,198 ratings  ·  821 reviews
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, rampant white-collar crime, and powerfully destructive standards of beauty hiding in plai ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing
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Cherry Tina This book is just so perfect.
I love the writing style.…more
This book is just so perfect.
I love the writing style.(less)
T Madden Hi there! Yes, the book is now available on Audible; I narrated! I hope you'll enjoy! …moreHi there! Yes, the book is now available on Audible; I narrated! I hope you'll enjoy! (less)

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 ·  6,198 ratings  ·  821 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,
Before I read this, I considered myself to be a relatively honest person.

Now I know that I, alongside the global populace excluding T Kira Madden, am a deceitful horrible devilish liar.

This is the most honest book in the world.

With every passing day I grow closer to reading exclusively memoirs, and I have no regrets. What work of fiction can give me the story of Steve Madden’s niece, the at-first-illegitimate daughter of one of the closest allies of the Wolf of Wall Street, as she navigates drug
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
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Rachel by: Hannah
Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls was a breath of fresh air.  If you isolate many of its thematic elements and you read a lot of this type of memoir, there's plenty of familiarity - coming of age, coming to terms with queerness, racial identity, sexual assault, trauma, drugs, love, family ties.  But T Kira Madden does something completely unique with it, revealing enough of her life to the reader in each chapter to keep us absorbed, yet employing a non-linear structure so faultlessly that ...more
I loved this - but it is also a memoir that needs the reader to trust the author. T Kira Madden's memoir is impeccably structured in a way that I highly appreciated by the end. She tells of her life in fragments, not always taking time to ground the reader, and some the chapters did not work for me - until the incredible last essay that reframes much of what came before and had me so in awe that I set staring at nothing after finishing the book. For me, the language alone would have been enough ...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
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
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
T Kira Madden lived a privileged life in Boca Raton, Florida thanks to the wealth made possible by a designer shoe.  

Underneath the happy image that included a big house, private schools, and horse trophies, Madden was on her own from a young age while her parents battled addictions and each other.  She searched for love and acceptance in destructive places, suffered objectification and ridicule, and faced racism regularly, all while remaining completely devoted to her parents.

Madden's memoir is
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
Jessica Woodbury
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
My review of this will be fairly short since I put it down for pandemic stress reasons and took far too long to get back to it so it's not fresh in my head. This is not the kind of memoir I usually read, it is filled with beautiful prose, it is not focused on a particular story or theme, the style can be extremely disjointed, jumping from one person and time to another. And yet, I really liked it. It may be a fancier memoir than I usually go for, but something about the way Madden connects with ...more
Robert Sheard
Feb 08, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm of two minds on this memoir. The prose style is engaging and first rate. Madden is a natural stylist. But in terms of content, I'm not a fan and I know that's weird because I don't mean to challenge or judge anyone's life experiences. But I'm over reading memoirs about rich people bemoaning their self-inflicted woes. At least 80% of this memoir is the story of rich people (her parents and her) doing incredibly stupid things. It centers in south Florida and focuses quite a bit on private scho ...more
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Madden writes strikingly about her childhood and young adulthood in a fragmented way that is quite powerful. She veers back and forth between present and past - mixing up the joy and trauma and confusion of her life and bringing the reader along with her.
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.
Jennifer Blankfein
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Honest, coming of age memoir full of stories of beauty and ugliness...needed tissues at the end. Full review to come on Book Nation by Jen. ...more
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.
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
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In her debut, a memoir, T Kira Madden relates a childhood full of loneliness and confusion but also so much love that it did not destroy her. Reading the book I was aware of it being carefully crafted with the most beautiful language she could create. Without self pity she revealed emotions that both fit her age as she grew while tinging them with the insights she gained from looking back as a grown woman.

I don't want to say more. I knew maybe too much from listening to her interview on the Ot
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.
this book hit me right in the heart.

as madden weaves together events from her childhood (and adulthood), i cry and grimace and ache right along with her. a youth full of longing, and populated with father figures who can't give her what she needs. ouch.

her writing is beautiful, and the essays interconnect marvelously. sometimes something is briefly mentioned in one section, then hits like a gut punch when it's revisited with greater significance later on. absolutely wonderfully done. much admira
Dan White
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I teach personal essays and memoir classes (and I've written a couple of them) and I find myself going back to this book again and again. The first time I read a book, I just let myself get swept away by the story and the language. Then I revisit the book and try to pinpoint the reasons why it has such a hold on me. In this case, it's the use of the present tense, pretty consistently throughout the memoir. That's an unusual creative choice because the present tense can really hamstring you. You ...more
I love when this happens in the movies, on TV, in the books I read: a boy comes for a girl and then the father suddenly loves the girl more, steps up, becomes protective. No boys or men have ever desired a fatherless girl. I have always wanted this complication.

T Kira Madden pens a thoughtful collection of essays that is deeply moving and beautiful. She explores the father daughter dynamic in a very interesting way. I particularly loved how she explored the mother daughter relationship as well
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love memoir in essay form. It lends itself to flexibility and creativity. Yes, T Kira Madden is from the famous shoe family, though it is referenced only as it applies to her father’s absences. Her upbringing was privileged, but challenging in so many formative ways. I think most of us can identify with at least one instance, but likely more. Her writing is exquisite. This is a solid memoir; great on audio.
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
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
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!
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
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thinking a lot about the judgments I had going into this book. Doubting the content because I don’t normally reach for narratives about extravagance or wealth. Doubting my enjoyment because I knew the majority of this would be in a child’s perspective - my least favorite way of telling a story. But LONG LIVE THE TRIBE OF FATHERLESS GIRLS is more than what it seems on the surface, more than the deceptive glitter on its cover. It truly lives up to the brilliance that is its name. Thank you @blooms ...more
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