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Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  3,098 ratings  ·  452 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 ...more
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!…moreHi there! Yes, the book is now available on Audible; I narrated! I hope you'll enjoy! (less)

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Average rating 4.32  · 
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 ·  3,098 ratings  ·  452 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 ...more
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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,
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 a
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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 ...more
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
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 ...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
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
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
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.
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For more of my book content check out

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
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
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
When I picked this book to listen to on Audible, I had no idea it was a memoir or that the author would have a special connection with me by being related to others who’ve lived and grew up in Hawaiʻi, which I’m always pleasantly surprised to find! Also that it’s a gay book!! Ugh, loves it.

I initially picked this book because I, too, am a father-less girl and I took off one star because I thought she’d actually not have a father lmfao!!! Girl I was tryna read about when you no mo fada PERIOD
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
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.
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