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Mixed: An Anthology of Short Fiction on the Multiracial Experienceby Chandra (edt) Prasad
Synopses & Reviews
With a roster of acclaimed authors, Mixed explodes expectations of what it means to be multiracial.
The complexion of America is changing. People can trace their lineage to Native American, African American, Asian, Irish, Italian, and Puerto Rican — sometimes all in the same person. The United States alone counts over twenty million people of multiracial descent, and the number is growing. With contributors such as Danzy Senna, Cristina Garcia, and Diana Abu-Jaber, and with an illuminating introduction by Rebecca Walker, Mixed is the first anthology to give voice to the multiple identities of the rising generation. Peter Ho Davies's confused minotaur; Ruth Ozeki's young, biracial gumshoes; and Wayde Compton's college junkie inhabit stories that are as broad in style as in perspective. Yet, as a whole, Mixed reflects a singular spirit, one of nonconformity in a world where people continue to ask the question "What are you?" and then wait for a one-word response.
"Pradsad's Outwitting the Job Market included meditations on diversity and the workplace; her choice of fiction over nonfiction for this anthology may reflect her own shifts: her novel One of the Boys is due in 2007. All of the contributors are from mixed or multiracial backgrounds; Prasad notes in her foreword that there is 'some commonality' among them: 'being proof of an increasingly global society, acting as the solder between various communities, straddling cultural expectations.' In 'Footnote,' memoirist Carmit Delman (Burnt Bread and Chutney) writes of a quarter-Indian girl raised in West Virginia who takes a carnal route to discovering identity. Mat Johnson's 'Gift Giving' uses the typical story of the cuckold (the author dedicates the story to an ex-fiance) to dispel numerous clichés of biracial coupledom: 'The women I knew who socialized white always had some mythic white ex-boyfriend to whom no Negro could compare.' In 'The Caste System,' Mary Yukari Waters (The Laws of Evening) sends Sarah Rexford to Japan with her grandmother for a visit to her mother's grave, and to her aunt Kimiko. There are short author bios written by the writers themselves, and thumbnail photos of each author. At the end of each of the 18 stories, the writer gives a brief description of what inspired it." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Themes of coming-of-age, identity development, self-acceptance, and racial prejudice are explored insightfully." VOYA
"Because the story of America is the story of ethnicity and identity, this collection will find an appreciative audience, especially among those wanting to examine aspects of our multicultural society." Library Journal
"This is an absorbing and thought-provoking collection of stories that explore racial identity, alienation, and people often forced to choose between races and cultures in a search for self-identity." Booklist
With a roster of acclaimed fiction writers, Mixed shatters expectations of what it means to be multiracial.
Globally, the number of multiracial people is exploding. In 10 US states, the percentage of multiracial residents who are of school age--between 5 and 17--is at least 25 percent. In California alone, it is estimated that 15 percent of all births are multiracial or multiethnic. Despite these numbers, mixed-race people have long struggled for a distinct place on the identity map. It was only as recently as 2000 that the U.S. Census Bureau began to allow citizens to check off as many racial categories as are applicable-White, African American, Asian, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian, American Indian, and Alaska Native. Previously, Americans were allowed to check off only one, leaving multiracial people invisible and unaccounted for.
Though multiracialism has recently become a popular aspect of many memoirs and novels, Mixed is the first of its kind: a fiction anthology with racial overlap as its compass. With original pieces by both established and emerging writers, Mixed explores the complexities of identity that come with being a multiracial person. Every story, crafted by authors who are themselves mixed-race, broaches multiracialism through character or theme. With contributors such as Cristina Garcia, Danzy Senna, Ruth Ozeki, Mat Johnson, Wayde Compton, Diana Abu-Jaber, Emily Raboteau, Mary Yukari Waters, and Peter Ho Davies, and an illuminating introduction by Rebecca Walker, Mixed gives narrative voice to the multiple identities of the rising generation.
About the Author
Chandra Prasad has written on career issues in The Wall Street Journal's Career Journal, IMDiversity.com, and JobCircle.com, among others. She has been quoted as a workplace expert by Black Entertainment Television, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Finding Your Dream Job Online. She is the former Editor-at-Large of Vault, an online careers site that has been called "the best place on the Web to prepare for a job search" by Fortune Magazine. A graduate of Yale University, Chandra lives and works in Connecticut.
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