The In-Betweens: A Lyrical Memoir

West Virginia Univ. Feb. 2023. 280p. ISBN 9781952271748. pap. $21.99. MEMOIR
In this collection of 47 short vignettes, Loeb, an assistant features editor at The Rumpus, writes about his experiences as a biracial man in America. He’s the son of a Black mother with Alabama roots and a white Jewish father from Long Island, and he struggled to fit in as a child in his suburban New Jersey neighborhood, where he was one of few children of color. His childhood, filled with scenes of daring, fighting, and prepubescent experimentation, is all under the judgment and direction of familial adults. There are many hopeful and optimistic beginnings, and readers are pulled further into the messiness and joys of human relationships. The devastation of racism and slavery in the United States is personalized in the experience of older generations as the younger ones attempt to reconcile and reflect. Loeb confronts what it means to inhabit his skin and family history, in both individual experiences and those common to many multiracial people.
VERDICT Ideal for those interested in descriptive, insightful stories about what it is like to not quite fit in anywhere, to inhabit many spaces at once, and to be challenged with the formation of one’s own identity in a sometimes chaotic and contradictory environment.
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