A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother

Posted in Barack Obama, Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Women on 2011-12-11 01:53Z by Steven

A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother

Riverhead an Imprint of Penguin Press
384 pages
9.25 x 6.25in
Hardcover ISBN: 9781594487972
Paperback ISBN: 9781594485596

Janny Scott

A major publishing event: an unprecedented look into the life of the woman who most singularly shaped Barack Obama—his mother.

Barack Obama has written extensively about his father, but little is known about Stanley Ann Dunham, the fiercely independent woman who raised him, the person he credits for, as he says, “what is best in me.” Here is the missing piece of the story.

Award-winning reporter Janny Scott interviewed nearly two hundred of Dunham’s friends, colleagues, and relatives (including both her children), and combed through boxes of personal and professional papers, letters to friends, and photo albums, to uncover the full breadth of this woman’s inspiring and untraditional life, and to show the remarkable extent to which she shaped the man Obama is today.

Dunham’s story moves from Kansas and Washington state to Hawaii and Indonesia. It begins in a time when interracial marriage was still a felony in much of the United States, and culminates in the present, with her son as our president- something she never got to see. It is a poignant look at how character is passed from parent to child, and offers insight into how Obama’s destiny was created early, by his mother’s extraordinary faith in his gifts, and by her unconventional mothering. Finally, it is a heartbreaking story of a woman who died at age fifty-two, before her son would go on to his greatest accomplishments and reflections of what she taught him.

Tags: , , , ,

Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who Discovered He Was Black

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, United States on 2011-09-16 03:19Z by Steven

Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who Discovered He Was Black

Plume, an imprint of Penguin
February 1996
304 pages
5.35 x 7.95in
Paperback ISBN: 9780452275331
ePub eBook ISBN: 9781440665813
Adobe eBook ISBN: 9781440665813

Gregory Howard Williams, President
University of Cincinnati


  • Los Angeles Times Book Prize
  • Friends of American Writers Award: Nominee
  • Melcher Book Award: Nominee

A stunning journey to the heart of the racial dilemma in this country.

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgments
  2. The Open House Cafe
  3. The Midas Touch
  4. “Captain of My Soul”
  5. Rooster
  6. Learning How to Be Niggers
  7. Bob and Weave
  8. “Saved”
  9. Hustling
  10. Politics and Race
  11. The Color Line
  12. Accept the Things I Cannot Change
  13. Choices
  14. Go for It!
  15. Big Shoulders
  16. Persistence
  17. Teammates
  18. “Born in the Wilderness and Suckled by a Boar”
  19. State of Indiana v. Gregory H. Williams
  20. Mike: Like a Moth to Flames
  21. Tottering Kingdoms and Crumbling Empires
  22. Your Truly Mother
Tags: , , , ,

You Are Free: Stories

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels on 2011-05-13 02:12Z by Steven

You Are Free: Stories

Riverhead (and Imprint of Penguin Press)
240 pages
ISBN 9781594485077

Danzy Senna

Each of these eight remarkable stories by Danzy Senna tightrope-walks tantalizingly, sometimes frighteningly, between defined states: life with and without mates and children, the familiar if constraining reference points provided by race, class, and gender. Tensions arise between a biracial couple when their son is admitted to the private school where they’d applied on a lark. A new mother hosts an old friend, still single, and discovers how each of them pities-and envies- the other. A young woman responds to an adoptee in search of her birth mother, knowing it is not she.

Tags: , ,

Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, United States on 2010-08-23 01:51Z by Steven

Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line

The Penguin Press
384 pages
5.98 x 9.01in
Hardcover ISBN 9781594202001

Martha A. Sandweiss, Professor of History
Princeton University

National Book Critics Circle Awards Winner

The secret double life of the man who mapped the American West and the woman he loved

Clarence King is a hero of nineteenth-century western history. Brilliant scientist and witty conversationalist, bestselling author and architect of the great surveys that mapped the West after the Civil War, King was named by John Hay “the best and brightest of his generation.” But King hid a secret from his Gilded Age cohorts and prominent family in Newport: for thirteen years he lived a double life—as the celebrated white explorer, geologist, and writer Clarence King and as a black Pullman porter and steelworker named James Todd. The fair, blue-eyed son of a wealthy China trader passed across the color line, revealing his secret to his black common-law wife, Ada King, only on his deathbed.

Noted historian of the American West Martha Sandweiss is the first writer to uncover the life that King tried so hard to conceal from the public eye. She reveals the complexity of a man who while publicly espousing a personal dream of a uniquely American “race,” an amalgam of white and black, hid his love for his wife and their five biracial children. Passing Strange tells the dramatic tale of a family built along the fault lines of celebrity, class, and race—from the “Todds” wedding in 1888 to the 1964 death of Ada, one of the last surviving Americans born into slavery, to finally the legacy inherited by Clarence King’s granddaughter, who married a white man and adopted a white child in order to spare her family the legacies of racism.

A remarkable feat of research and reporting spanning the Civil War to the civil rights era, Passing Strange tells a uniquely American story of self-invention, love, deception, and race.

Tags: , , ,