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Color Blind: A Memoir [NOOK Book]

Overview

Born in Africa to a Nigerian princess, Precious Williams was less than one year old when her mother put an ad in Nursery World: "Pretty Nigerian baby girl needs new home." Precious's mother had flown to London in search of a new life--a life in which there was no space for a daughter. The first response came rom a 60-year-old white woman, Nan, who prided herself for being "color blind." Correspondence were exchanged, no questions asked, and Precious left her mother for Nan's ...

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Color Blind: A Memoir

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Overview

Born in Africa to a Nigerian princess, Precious Williams was less than one year old when her mother put an ad in Nursery World: "Pretty Nigerian baby girl needs new home." Precious's mother had flown to London in search of a new life--a life in which there was no space for a daughter. The first response came rom a 60-year-old white woman, Nan, who prided herself for being "color blind." Correspondence were exchanged, no questions asked, and Precious left her mother for Nan's home in rural England.


Nan may have been color blind, but others in their small town were not. Precious grew up in an entirely white household, attending all-white schools, where she remained for her entire childhood. She was taunted by her peers and misunderstood by Nan. Precious's mother occasionally made fleeting, magical visits until she was nine, but would often critisize her for being "too white."


Finding it impossible to related to any family members--biological or surragoate--she became disillusioned and self-destructive. She retreated to her imagination, forging an identity from characters she'd seen on TV, in movies, and read about in books.


Color Blind is a powerful coming-of-age memoir exploring themes of motherhood and race.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Williams offers an English journalist's wry, charming memoir of being a black Nigerian girl growing up in a 1970s white foster home in a village of West Sussex, England. As a baby, Anita Williams was farmed out by her glamorous Nigerian mother to a couple in their late 50s, Nanny and her wheelchair-bound husband, Gramps, to be brought up as a proper English girl with the Queen's accent. Altruistic, Christian, and modest of means, Nanny tells her: "Your colour doesn't matter, Anita. You're just the same as me underneath." Yet Anita stuck out like a sore thumb in mostly white Fernmere, visited occasionally by her haughty, highly critical Mummy Elizabeth, an accountant, and Elizabeth's male sidekick, whom the author recalls molesting her sexually when she was very small. While the town bullies routinely called her names, Nanny and her family doted on her, worried sick that she'd be taken back by her mother. Anita's older stepsister, Agnes, turned up for a visit, while a trip to Nigeria with her mother to visit the far-flung relatives cured Anita of her stereotypical notions of Africans. Gradually, Anita learned that being "black" possessed many complicated connotations, and as she grew up she excelled as a student and rebelled in turn. Her beautifully wrought memoir reaches back deeply and generously to regain the preciousness she felt lost to her. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"As shatteringly moving as it is incredible... This book is not so much a coming-of-age story as a harrowing coming-to-be tale... Against all odds, Williams claims her future. Gorgeously written with a fiercely honest voice, Color Blind shows that who we are is shaped by how we are nurtured, even when our histories leave damage that is as much a part of us as our shadows." -Caroline Leavitt, Boston Globe

"Precious Williams upends every expectation about race, class, gender and ambition in her startlingly powerful memoir." -USAToday

"An affecting memoir about growing up in two worlds, neither quite comfortable with the other… One important theme is the trope of abandonment. Another is the ineluctable sense of being different in a place in which ordinariness is a virtue... The story moves along toward a satisfying conclusion that speaks to aspiration and desire.” –Kirkus

"[Williams'] beautifully wrought memoir reaches back deeply and generously to regain the preciousness she felt lost to her.” -Publishers Weekly

"Precious Williams' brave examination of identity and loss reminds us that by going into the heart of what we are most afraid of, we find our liberation." - Eve Ensler, creator of The Vagina Monologues

"A beautiful, haunting new Dickensian tale of growing up between two mothers and two motherlands." -Catherine E. McKinley, author of The Book of Sarahs

"Raw, honest, heartbreaking, and heartwarming, Color Blind will linger in your soul long after the book is closed, reminding us all that ther is nothing more powerful on earth than the human spirit." - Donna Hill, author of What Mother Never Told Me

"Precious Williams is a vibrant, deliciously alive storyteller. With attention to the choice incandescent detail, she holds the reader in passionate immediacy of the moment. Color Blind is an unforgettable story of outrageous humor, heartbreak, and transcendence." - Lisa Teasley, author of Dive and Glow in the Dark

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608191284
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 8/10/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • File size: 216 KB

Meet the Author

Precious Williams is a former contributing editor to Cosmopolitan and her personal essays and celebrity interviews have also appeared in the Telegraph, The Times, the Guardian, Wallpaper, Elle, Marie Claire and the New York Post. She lives in London.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 6

Part 1 Making Life Miserable for the Liberal Party 9

Part 2 Keating's Way with Words 38

Part 3 KEATING! The Musical We Had to Have 174

Further Reading 184

Acknowledgments 186

Illustration Sources 187

Index 189

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 4, 2010

    Hauntingly beautiful page-turner

    I bought this after reading a positive review of it in USA Today. It is one of the best autobiographies I have ever read. I would describe it as searing, brilliantly-written and a page-turner. This book might make you cry but it will also make you feel inspired and hopeful.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2010

    Wonderful, Honest Memoir

    All I can say is wow! What a moving, incredible story. It is a story about overcoming adversity and prevailing against life's imperfect circumstances. Precious writes her story with an honesty and clarity that is sometimes lacking in memoirs. Her writing style is smooth and the story flows nicely. This story was not written to amuse, or to make the reader laugh. It is a poignant story that at times, hurts your heart, and at other times fills it with hope.

    I was unaware of the practice of the fostering of African children in England during the 60s and 70s that the author herself was a part of. It was difficult for me to understand how Precious's mother could be so cold and indifferent towards her. And I also found myself becoming frustrated with her white foster family as well. Although their intentions were good, Precious was never allowed to come to terms with her true self. Being a kid and growing up is tough enough without having your self-identity in question as well. I think at times, our culture is so obsessed with being politically correct and treating everyone equally, that we forget to acknowledge the value that can be found in our differences. As a culture we should be able to embrace and appreciate our uniqueness and individuality and not look at it as a disadvantage.

    Bravo to Ms. Williams for maturing and learning to recognize her value as a person. She was able to overcome her childhood hardships and become a successful journalist. What an inspiring book. This story will stay with me for quite some time.....

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 28, 2010

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    Posted April 8, 2011

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