Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls
“Frank and funny and powerful and surprising. An utterly gorgeous debut.”-Lauren GroffAcclaimed 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 plain sight.As a child, Madden lived a life of extravagance, from her exclusive private school to her equestrian trophies and designer shoe-brand name. But under the surface was a wild instability. The only child of parents continually battling drug and alcohol addictions, Madden confronted her environment alone. Facing a culture of assault and objectification, she found lifelines in the desperately loving friendships of fatherless girls.With unflinching honesty and lyrical prose, spanning from 1960s Hawai'i to the present-day struggle of a young woman mourning the loss of a father while unearthing truths that reframe her reality, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls is equal parts eulogy and love letter. It's a story about trauma and forgiveness, about families of blood and affinity, both lost and found, unmade and rebuilt, crooked and beautiful.

Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls Details

TitleLong Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls
Author
ReleaseMar 5th, 2019
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing
ISBN-139781635571851
Rating
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Lgbt, Glbt, Queer

Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls Review

  • Adam Dalva
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 fascinating - from queerness to drugs, from the Rat's Mouth of Florida to New York City, with surprise siblings and Steve Madden shoes along the way - that this would have been a compulsively readable book no matter what, but when you throw in that Madden is an exceptionally gifted writer on the line level, you have something special here. She is unflinching, emotional, hilarious, in touch with every age of adolescence. I defy anyone reading this not to fall in love with the author - Madden is someone to root for, and someone who speaks to something desperately needed right now. Singling out individual essays would be foolish, because the united whole is what matters here. This is a memoir to come back to, that rare thing where talent and content unify instead of cancel out. Out this March: be excited for it.
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  • Valerity (Val)
    January 1, 1970
    Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls: A MemoirThis 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, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls: A MemoirThis 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, mostly visiting at odd school breaks and maybe Christmas break. There’s plenty of money for a good school, but she doesn’t seem to fit in well since she spends so much time alone talking to her store mannequin. She’s not real good at making friends and gets teased a lot. Being bi-racial and beginning to become aware that she likes girls more than guys isn’t helping her popularity either. The book jumps around some, but I found it pretty readable. Perhaps because I grew up in a chaotic household myself where there was alcohol and things got out of control many times. When that’s your normal you can relate. It doesn’t seem strange when the mother keeps wanting to go check to see if the father is at the bar on their way home from school, stopping at the grocery store in the same plaza.The book follows as they get older and situations happen that get more intense. I won’t give away any more. It’s worth reading, rather different in some ways. I didn’t find it all that humorous, as touted; perhaps sharing the pain of a similar way of growing up with secrets, I feel more the painful side of things, the times that were embarrassing and painful and such. For memoir readers. My thanks for the advance electronic copy that was provided by NetGalley, author T. Kira Madden, and the publisher for my fair review.3.5 of 5 starsAlso on my BookZone blog:https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog20...
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  • Brittany | thebookishfiiasco
    January 1, 1970
    ‘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 ‘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 ability to bring you to the age she was in her stories. you’re invited into her perspective, to see from her point of view, and feel the depth, the weight, and at times, the trauma of her experiences. you get the perspective of a child, navigating the complexities of adult relationships, forced to grow older out of necessity, and doing her best to hold everyone in balance and make sense of her own identity. you travel through each realm of her life, reflecting on the built up memories that shaped her, and for a moment, you’re given the opportunity to reflect on all of the stories you’ve kept secret. with all of the identity exploration in this book— race, sexuality, coming of age realness, blended families, experimentation— and the trauma of sexual assault, addiction, rehabilitation... you can’t help but go through the spectrum of emotions while feeling the weight of each story. T Kira Madden sounds like someone i would want to know, and i feel grateful she has shared a bit of herself with the world..thank you to NetGalley for sharing this one with me! .4.5/5 ✨
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  • Jessica Sullivan
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 most traumatic experiences—always desperate to be older and more experienced than they are, no matter the consequences. So much of this was sharply relatable to me, having come of age during the same time and with similar experiences of adolescenceMadden’s parents were addicts in a tumultuous relationship. Her upbringing was rocky and unstable, and as the book progresses and Madden gets older, the focus shifts more toward an exploration of her family past and her recent grief over the death of her father. What could easily devolve into a trite story about forgiveness instead remains something far more raw and real. The narrative is fresh and surprising until the very end. Madden doesn’t have to tell us how she reckons with her past. Instead she continues to show us with poignant vignettes that speak multitudes. She avoids demonizing or glorifying her parents: either would be too easy and obvious, and Madden prefers to keep us somewhere in the messy gray area that’s truer to actual human experience.I can’t possibly speak highly enough about this masterpiece of a memoir (a genre I admittedly don’t usually love). I’m confident enough to say just a few months into the year that this will be one of my favorite books of 2019.
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  • Lindsay Hunter
    January 1, 1970
    I wish I could give 10 stars. I cried as it ended. A gorgeous and raw book.
  • Nicky
    January 1, 1970
    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.
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 aching for this lonely little girl who had to function in a difficult adult world and a nasty private school environment. I never felt such rage as I did while reading these pages. The formatting of my ARC was wonky ( the letter f and the fl combination was missing) so sometimes reading this story was a mini battle of wits and words. In the end I’m glad I persevered because this was a rewarding read. Highly recommend and can’t wait to see what Madden does next.
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  • Cassie (book__gal)
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 those questions, how do we do it...will we do it, in her pages; and the answer was always: you can and you will. ⁣⁣This may not be one of the most objective reviews because I’m projecting my own life, my own experiences into it, but I think many others will also feel the same when reading this book. A sort of distant, but painful familiarity. Madden expertly portrays the experience of being a girl in a world of adults, of not being afforded the chance to truly be a kid in some ways. She does this also with the experience of being an adult coming to terms with the fact that her parents are people too; they have messed up, sometimes in ways that produce dire consequences, but we can still love them and understand that life and love are not always going to be so clear and straightforward. ⁣⁣"For years, the lizard came to me each time I began falling asleep. I couldn’t push it out from behind my eyes — all those lizard movements — the way it had finally trusted me. I thought of the way I had chased it, the blood rush of that. I thought of not much else. A body, severed, does not die right away. It fights, thrashes. Every part of it remembers."
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  • dori
    January 1, 1970
    . 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 . 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-formatted galley (NOT the author's fault). T Kira Madden is an excellent writer.Privileged kids can have crappy upbringings too, of course, but when you're born with a plastic spoon in your mouth, it can be hard to drum up compassion for those who got the silver ones unless can you withhold judgment, open your mind a bit and just listen to another woman speak her piece.. Glad I did. There's a lot of emergence here. What kind of book does a memoir writer produce next? Who knows - many don't. I hope she does. She's got a good gift.
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  • Meakin Armstrong
    January 1, 1970
    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
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 descriptors and phrases was a powerful writing tool. For example, her explanation of "the spot" and how "she found beauty" - artfully and masterfully crafted segments in the book. I found this effort complex, unique and engaging. #2 reading this memoir, I really cried for her girlhood and the lives of so many young women battling their way through life with parents who hoard secrets and deal with addiction and abuse in ways that they think are "private" or "shielding" of their children, but are not. It has long-reaching, deep, deep effects that T Kira shares here and dives into so completely that you get not only her viewpoint but those of various girls and boys throughout the story. You get the perspectives of cousins, you get the perspectives of half brothers and sisters. It feels comprehensive but doesn't claim to know more than it does. It resonates a feeling that many kids of parents who are addicts or missing in their lives share. It resonates the feelings of kids who don't know what's going on in their parents' lives, but who know the feeling of neglect that they have to live with or have internalized that feeling of neglect or abandonment. I don't want to give any of this memoir away. I want to keep it all tied up inside me. I think it's definitely something to experience. I was initially enraptured by the title and titles can be a little deceiving but this one was entirely reflective of the contents and context of the book.You know, I always wonder what happens to the children of the people caught in the middle of scams and scandals, especially in the wake of the college scams going on currently. What happens to the kids of the mortgage scams? The kids of the Wolves of Wall Street? All those scam-ass men are "family" men, or so they try to portray.. this felt like a peek behind the curtain of how the children of rich "con men" live. Not saying that her dad was a con man, but I mean bro - show me your friends and I'll tell you who you are. Eventually, the mistresses, the side-pieces, the wives, daughters, and sons, are eventually all going to come forward and tell their stories. Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls is more than that, more than the story of being the daughter of a rich, wolf-of-wall-street type drug addict; it's an interesting perspective from a girl who grew up around that crew. A girl who it seems was trying to stay afloat mentally but also drowning her issues and her families issues in a series of ills and vices. Also, it's the story of hearts, youth and one's love for family, being taken advantage of, it's a story about looking for love and comfort and care in many of the wrong places. It's a big, big story. It was a heavy, highly impactful and powerful read - if you're even slightly interested in the premise or title of this memoir, you should read it.
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  • Donna Davis
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 with every material advantage, but also strangely unwelcome in her own home. It’s the ultimate story of alienation, one in which her father’s primary goal as a parent seems to be to pretend she isn’t there—until he goes to jail, anyway. Kids that are ignored by their parents act out to get their attention. This is true across all social classes, though the form of the acting out varies. Kira isn’t invited to accompany her father anywhere, and he doesn’t talk to her when he’s home. He and her mother have frightening drug and alcohol addictions that increase the lack of contact and the dearth of affection their daughter receives. She can’t make friends and bring them home. So here’s this rich girl with money, unlimited time to burn, a house full of drugs and booze, internet access, and a head full of resentment. What could possibly go wrong? In many ways, Kira’s writing breaks up stereotypes right and left, and her prose is crystalline and heartbreakingly, brutally frank. There’s so much that is good here. At the same time, I have to say that being neglected while rich is nowhere near as bad as being neglected while poor. It sounds cold, but there it is. T. Kira Madden has lit up the literary world with her debut, and it will be interesting to see what comes next.
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  • Lilly Dancyger
    January 1, 1970
    I am going to be telling people about this book for the rest of my life. Happy pub day, T Kira!
  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    January 1, 1970
    via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/'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 via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/'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 a mannequin father whose heft has more presence and love than her own flesh and blood daddy. Her beautiful Chinese Hawaiian mother knows her best and as single mother does everything she can to protect them, the mannequin is her mother’s idea used as a stand in for her her father’s sporadic visits to their mice infested apartment. Her father who feels like a giant stranger. A successful older man who already has an established family shifts sails and decides to live with T Kira and her mother, so begins the fierce memoir.When her parents aren’t fighting or in drunken, drug-fueled fights her dad is passed out on the couch in a stupor, life is mad obsession over her show horses, an uncle who is unlucky in love, massive humiliation during junior high, hunger to fit in, and the gut wrenching loss of innocence that isn’t confronted until years later. Her father in their life means overflowing ashtrays, they’re rich but live off cheap food, life going off the hinges as much as the wooden doors in the house after one of his rages. Like this, she still loves him. Then there are secrets, so many secrets through generations and her father isn’t the only one with things to hide. As her family grows so too does an understanding of all the things she didn’t see while her eyes were smeared with youth. There is cousin Cindy and her beauty, which isn’t always a prelude to a charmed life. When T Kira ‘finds her own pretty’, she goes wild with her tribe of fatherless girls. The exotic features that once made her prey to kids in school with racial slurs becomes ‘sexy’ among her girls. Parties, drugs, sexual exploration, losing people and herself until the girl from Boca becomes a New York woman. In college she allows herself deeper love and intimacy with girls and faces what it means to be queer.There are moments of such honesty it makes you wince. She lets too much happen to her, living at times on autopilot, as young people hungry for love and attention do. Terrible things happen because of her trusting naivete. Her parents didn’t shelter her from all the adult situations were tangled i, and it costs her. We are shaped in childhood, but it doesn’t have to be our ruin. There is love between T Kira and her father, but the confusion of living in the storms of his moods, his violence towards her mother, threatening her as well, wrecks her home. In his absence her mother destroys herself with drugs, and her father abandons them, leaving T Kira to be the caregiver, addiction in a parent a force someone so young shouldn’t have to contend with. Children are meant to be the needy ones. It wasn’t always nightmarish, she has sweet memories of her father taking her to her first baseball game, their trip to Vegas when she was five, but there is so much distance between them. She tells us at seventeen of New York “I’ve moved here to be closer to my dad. I want to walk his streets, eat his favorite pastrami, try on a new relationship with him.” She loses her father, every remnant of him is ash, except the memories.“Ghosts are better than nothing. Ghosts move. They want things. To haunt each other, then, is a way for my mother and I to keep him. He is more than a voice in the walls., a Ouija board movement, an iridescent cloud in the dark; he can exist here, inside us, through possession. We do our best to play the roles. Our bodies are not big enough.” Falling in love with someone, I think, is at least like that.”An innocuous Christmas present after her father’s death pries her mother’s past open wide. There may be more love out there than T Kira could have ever hoped for. The end of the memoir was moving and heartbreaking. It’s an unfinished story, because T Kira has so much living left, and so the family grows. It’s not just about the ache of missing ones father while he is alive and dead, her mother is a larger than life presence too, especially in the later years.Others have called this gritty, and it is, it has it’s funny moments, particularly in her blind youth, because no matter how cool people claim they were, there was an awkward desperate phase we can all relate to. You want to jump into the pages and stop her from embarrassing herself as much as save T Kira from dangerous decisions. Rich doesn’t mean happy, being wealthy isn’t protection against the dirt of the adult world. It is a story of surviving your childhood, and coming to terms with your parents flaws while also recognizing they were people before they had you, people who made immense sacrifices and mistakes. It is holding on to the love you find in the memories, even those we revise.Publication Date: March 5, 2019Bloomsbury USA
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  • Sachi Argabright
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 writing style and the essay format of her memoir, but it was very difficult to read at times. The subject matter is very heavy, and not for the faint of heart (see trigger warnings below). Reading her first hand account of how she was sexually assaulted at 12 years old was especially challenging for me to read. While emotionally taxing, each one of these difficult experiences was important for me to read. It shows that these issues are very real, and they happen everyday. I also appreciated that this memoir didn’t feel like a continuous narrative. Each essay covers a certain time and place that was meaningful to Madden in her life, and even though it’s not continuous it didn’t feel disjointed. For memoir lovers or readers interested in reading more works from queer authors of color!*Major trigger warnings for this book: Sexual assault, alcoholism, drug use and addiction, bulimia, and the use of racial slurs are featured in this book.
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  • Paris (parisperusing)
    January 1, 1970
    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.
  • Jenna
    January 1, 1970
    Bittersweet, poignant, powerful, difficult to read at points. Moving and heartfelt and well written.
  • Trisha
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 versus a strong dose of her friends by her side.But, and I have much respect for this resilience, she never writes with bitterness or hate towards her family. She writes from her perspective and tells her stories as they have unfolded. They don’t appear to be discolored from negative feelings. What is notable is that as she ages, most friends are on the outskirts, just voices on phone calls after many years of silence, while her parents and family remain present.There are many instances where Madden has experienced pain and trauma, and she writes it in such a raw, honest manner. She is definitely not a blamer. I saw fun pieces of our shared generation - a time period comprised of a young Britney Spears, body glitter, and cucumber melon scented everything from Bath and Body Works. Her life and memories are not a clear-cut, all-bad or all-good collection.It’s hard to write a review for a memoir. How are you supposed to lay judgment regarding someone else’s experiences? It would feel invalidating and wrong to read about someone else’s life and say, “I didn’t like reading that.” Thankfully, I don’t have to do that. I truly enjoyed and appreciate the window into Madden’s past.Also – I’m grateful that Madden explained how her first name was chosen. I was curious about that, and hoped she’d mention it.
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  • Charlott
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 friend when her parents press that no one is to be let into the flat unless they have a search warrant.). This memoir is about all that. But it also about Madden's evolving, complex relationships with her parents. About the drama of middle school. About female friendships. About living through sexual violence. About grief. About finding family. Above all this is a queer coming-of-age narrative.T Kira Madden's writing is beyond beautiful. It is funny, poignant, and stabs you into your heart repeatedly. The structure of the book is so well thought out, the progression grabs you while there are so many turns you never know where the next pages might take you.I have so many feelings and have not worked through all of them yet. But I am sure this book will make my favourites of the year list at the end of 2019.
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  • Ilana
    January 1, 1970
    So. Freaking. Good. <3 Review to come in NPR.
  • Alisha
    January 1, 1970
    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. 225 “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 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. 225 “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. Even the blue bloat of water doesn’t make them look any stronger, or more capable, than a child’s. One thing I’d change, he says, is that I never did teach my daughter to swim.”270 “But that mother-daughter thing—I believe in it now. It’s something that can spool out forever like a string between two cups. A thread that will hum when you need it. 238“We look too young for this.”
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  • Chelsea Bieker
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    "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 "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 itself into the architecture of my body. This year, now that I've read 'Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls' (which, fittingly, is blurbed by Melissa Febos, among a slew of other writer heroes including Genevieve Hudson and Lauren Groff), I can only conclude that March is my lucky month. Because *wow.* (Also fitting that I finished it on International Women's Day.)I'm floored by this (debut?!) memoir that defies easy categorization or linear movement, that will dip your whole body into the butterfly-clips-and-pink-sofa-nineties, that is brimming with pain and glistening with longing, that delivers electric sentences and intense imagery. The writing in this book is bold and vulnerable, the voice distinct, the language at once easy to read and unlike anything I've read before. Maybe it's the emotional hangover I'm in in the immediate aftermath of having finished it (giving it my early morning hours and an entire Saturday afternoon and sneaking pages at work until I was done), but this book has me feeling tender and grateful. Also, I haven't dog-eared and marked up a book this much since... well, probably 'Abandon Me,' ha. Do yourself the favor of picking this up. And if you do, let me know what you think, and if you've read 'Abandon Me' ;)I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, Bloomsbury, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 around though; it was difficult for me to keep track of what age Madden was during different events. I would have given this book five stars if the narrative was more chronological. I also wished the events at the end of the book with her mother and long-lost relatives had been given more time (maybe rather than the many drug and alcohol-filled exploits of her youth). Madden's voice is definitely a powerful one, and I'll be interested to see what she does next.
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  • Claire M.
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    I always have a hard time rating a memoir because everyone's experience is different and I don't feel like I have the say to judge someone else's experience. After thinking through it, this one landed at a solid 3.5 stars for me.Some parts of this really resonated with me and I loved the way she shared her experience - her family, her relationship with her father, the dynamics of her parent's relationship, that one chapter about her brothers (! cried through the whole thing), and her details of I always have a hard time rating a memoir because everyone's experience is different and I don't feel like I have the say to judge someone else's experience. After thinking through it, this one landed at a solid 3.5 stars for me.Some parts of this really resonated with me and I loved the way she shared her experience - her family, her relationship with her father, the dynamics of her parent's relationship, that one chapter about her brothers (! cried through the whole thing), and her details of finding love in NYC and accepting her sexuality. I loved these parts of the book and the way she wrote about them.I know part of this memoir is that it's a redemption tale but I felt put off by the teen years as she wrote about them. To me, they felt gratuitous after a certain point and I found myself bored. Yes, it was eye-opening to see what privileged teenagers are really up to, but I didn't feel that those parts were interesting because they have been told before. So that's what left me feeling mixed about this one in the end.
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  • Melissa Dee
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 don’t know the answer to that, but I do know this is a memoir that will break your heart over and over again.I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Caroline
    January 1, 1970
    Sparkling and glancingly reflective as memory itself, tender without being exploitative
  • Lindsey
    January 1, 1970
    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.
  • Robert Vaughan
    January 1, 1970
    More than 5 stars, this book is simply outstanding.
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