Real American is written in a non-traditional format – short paragraphs with lots of space in-between, and some pages with only a sentence, making it feel like the author is talking directly to you. Lythcott-Haims, the daughter of a black father and white mother, had a difficult time identifying as black, because of being raised in a white environment. She struggled with her identity and self-esteem for years, despite being wildly successful. I found this book to be extremely impactful and emotional.— Stacey
A fearless debut memoir in which beloved and bestselling How to Raise an Adult author Julie Lythcott-Haims pulls no punches in her recollections of growing up a black woman in America
“Courageous, achingly honest."
—Michelle Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
“A compelling, incisive and thoughtful examination of race, origin and what it means to be called an American. Engaging, heartfelt and beautifully written, Lythcott-Haims explores the American spectrum of identity with refreshing courage and compassion.”
—Bryan Stevenson, New York Times bestselling author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
Bringing a poetic sensibility to her prose to stunning effect, Lythcott-Haims briskly and stirringly evokes her personal battle with the low self-esteem that American racism routinely inflicts on people of color. The only child of a marriage between an African-American father and a white British mother, she shows indelibly how so-called "micro" aggressions in addition to blunt force insults can puncture a person's inner life with a thousand sharp cuts. Real American expresses also, through Lythcott-Haims’s path to self-acceptance, the healing power of community in overcoming the hurtful isolation of being incessantly considered "the other."
The author of the New York Times bestselling anti-helicopter parenting manifesto How to Raise an Adult, Lythcott-Haims has written a different sort of book this time out, but one that will nevertheless resonate with the legions of students, educators and parents to whom she is now well known, by whom she is beloved, and to whom she has always provided wise and necessary counsel about how to embrace and nurture their best selves. Real American is an affecting memoir, an unforgettable cri de coeur, and a clarion call to all of us to live more wisely, generously and fully.
About the Author
Julie Lythcott-Haims is the New York Times bestselling author of How to Raise an Adult. She holds a BA from Stanford, a JD from Harvard Law School, and an MFA in writing from California College of the Arts. She is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, and resides in the Bay Area with her husband, their two teenagers, and her mother.