SOCIAL SCIENCES

I've Been Meaning To Tell You: A Letter to My Daughter

Bloomsbury USA. Apr. 2019. 96p. ISBN 9781635572872. $20. MEMOIR
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It's difficult for any parent to discuss the unpleasantness of the world with a child, and harder still when those aspects include racial politics and prejudice that directly impacts both their lives. Novelist Chariandy (Brother; Soucouyant), the son of black and South Asian Trinidadian migrants, makes an elegant foray into that struggle in this letter to his 13-year-old daughter. A memoir of the author's own racial past as well as a meditation on his daughter's present and future, this brief but powerful read conveys the effects of bigotry on people and place and the difficulties of navigating personal identity. Chariandy's lyrical prose heightens and never masks the sharp punch of racism or the fragility of a father's hope for his children.
VERDICT Slim but not slight, this touching read will be valuable for all parents, especially families with multiracial children, as well as those interested in viewing the politics of race and racial identity through a personal lens.

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