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The professor's daughter : a novel
Emily Raboteau
Adult Fiction RABOTEA

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From Publishers' Weekly:

A thoughtful, satisfying meditation on race and family history, Raboteau?s novel is that rare debut by a young author that stands out not for its stylistic swagger or precocity, but for its simple grace and absolute wisdom. The title character, Emma Boudreaux, and her ?twin? brother, Bernie, are the products of an interracial marriage and an unconventional household. But while Bernie embraces his blackness, Emma is less sure about who she is; still, she chooses to defer to her brother and their shared ?skin.? As an adolescent she only vaguely grasps the mysterious legacy of her black father, who went from an impoverished, segregated Mississippi childhood?his own father having been publicly lynched?to an esteemed academic career at Princeton University. That her father is often absent from family life only deepens Emma?s connection with her brother. But when Bernie falls into a coma after a freak accident, Emma, now a freshman at Yale, is forced to reevaluate her identity. With shifting points of view, the novel weaves together unexpected fragments, like a paper Emma ?wrote? for a post-colonial African novel class and her comatose brother?s lucid dreams. Drawing from the traditions of African storytelling, the novel maps a mythically rich terrain without ever leaving the confines of American realism. Raboteau, who has already won awards for her fiction, has an assured voice that illuminates pain as acutely as love, and this book flaunts her exceptional storytelling talents. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

From Library Journal:

Emma Boudreaux spent her childhood and adolescence in the shadow of her bold, charismatic older brother, Bernie. Despite considerable smarts, she was seemingly content to let him call the shots and take the lead in exploring both the world of their family and the world at large. When Bernie dies in a freak accident at 19, Emma is 18 and a student at Yale. First novelist Raboteau explores grief, racial and biracial identity, child abuse, emotional connects and disconnects, intellectual distancing, and the passing of legacies from one generation to the next-an ambitious mix. While the resulting narrative is ultimately disjointed, Raboteau deftly allows readers to experience Emma's myriad parts as she splinters in an attempt to grapple with being the brown daughter of a white mother and a black father. The intersections of race and class, played out in upscale Princeton, NJ, where Emma's father teaches, give resonance. Likewise, the treatment of sexual politics-among adults as well as youth-adds complexity to an unusual coming-of-age tale. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/04.]-Eleanor J. Bader, Brooklyn, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Bernard Boudreaux
African American
Esteemed Princeton professor; married to a white woman.

Emma Boudreaux
Age: Young adult
African American
Bernard's daughter; freshman at Yale.
College student

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