T Kira Madden writes with kindness, even when the world hasn't been as kind to her. I finished Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls in a coffee shop by my house, promptly closing my eyes and sighing as I held the book to my chest. Cliché? Maybe. Do I care? Not really. This book is stunning, and is so much more than I could have ever hoped that it could be. I cried, I laughed, I imagined. Madden is spectacular. Recommended By Katherine M., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
"Frank and funny and powerful and surprising. An utterly gorgeous debut." Lauren Groff
One of the most anticipated books of 2019 — Electric Literature, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, Hyphen, Lit Hub, Nylon, The Advocate, The Rumpus
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 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.
"Haunting, artful, and profound." BuzzFeed
"This is a vast, arresting story. It's a story of loving addicts. Of a queer sexual awakening. Of inhabiting a female body in America. Of biracial identity. Of obsessive, envy-fueled friendships. Of assault. It's a eulogy and a love song. It's about girls and the women they become." New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice
“Madden has come to break your heart open: to crack your heart wide, to spill out the heart’s grief and pain so she can fill it back up with joy and beauty and love.” Matt Bell, author of Scrapper
"Luminous. . . Madden's lyrical portrait of her Florida childhood, is nothing short of astonishing. The book spoils us with stylistic and structural novelty from start to finish. It's a song of self at once stunningly variegated and yet somehow powerfully unified. . . Madden's incantatory prose is spell-binding." Los Angeles Review of Books
“Harrowing and beautiful. What seems most miraculous about Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls is the way T Kira Madden forges out of such achingly difficult material a memoir as frank and funny and powerful and surprising as this, her utterly gorgeous debut.” Lauren Groff, author of Florida and Fates and Furies
About the Author
T Kira Madden is an APIA writer, photographer, and amateur magician. She is the founding editor-in-chief of No Tokens, and facilitates writing workshops for homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals. A 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in nonfiction literature, she has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Hedgebrook, Tin House, DISQUIET, Summer Literary Seminars, and Yaddo, where she was selected for the 2017 Linda Collins Endowed Residency Award. She lives in New York City.