Book Review: CAUCASIA

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2015-08-08 04:46Z by Steven

Book Review: CAUCASIA


Bethany Lam

Senna, Danzy, Caucasia: A Novel (New York: Riverhead, 1999)

Two biracial sisters—one light-skinned, one dark—are separated as children. The younger, lighter girl grows into a troubled teenager, but she never forgets her beloved older sister. Can she find her sister again … and with her sister, her self?

Plot Summary:

Seven-year-old Birdie Lee idolizes her big sister, Cole. Growing up biracial in 1970s Boston, she needs Cole’s protection and support to cope with the racial tensions of the time (see “Boston busing desegregation“).

The two girls are so close that they have developed a secret language, “Elemeno.” Together, they dream of a fantasy world, also called “Elemeno,” whose inhabitants can change appearance as needed to blend in and survive. As young children, the sisters retreat to this world to escape the things that threaten them, especially the slow crumbling of their parents’ dysfunctional marriage…

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