Every Goodbye Ain't Gone: Family Portraits and Personal Escapades

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Njeri grew up in Brooklyn and Harlem among African-American and West Indian kin. A reporter for the Los Angeles Times , she writes here of her childhood during the 1950s with her Harvard-educated father, a punishing alcoholic; her striving mother; and many other relatives. All spring immediately to life in a mix of ``family portraits and personal escapades.'' Njeri's grandfather, a doctor, was fatally injured in an automobile accident with a white driver in a Southern town; asking questions about the case 23 years later, she could find little information about the incident involving ``just another nigger.'' Of this and other experiences of bigotry, the author speaks plainly but with grace and wit, particularly when she seeks to understand others as well as herself, and when she discusses discarding her original name, Jill Moreland, in order to reclaim her ancestry. She is at her best reminding us of the harm done by racism and the harmony to be hoped for in mutually respectful society. Photos not seen by PW. First serial to Harper's, Essence and the Boston Globe. (Feb.)
Library Journal
The individual's triumphs and failures over the pervasiveness of racism in U.S. society are indeliby etched into the portraits of Njeri's African-American childhood. She writes with pride about her brother, whose musical genius has propelled him to the forefront of popular music, and with sorrow about her good-looking cousin, whose membership in a street gang led to drugs and his eventual murder. She describes her mother, who, despite childhood neglect and an abusive marriage, has led a life of dignity, in contrast to her brilliant father, whose bitterness and descent into alcoholism turned Njeri's childhood into a nightmare. Her ability to particularize the universal events in every young woman's life, whether it's the search for a hairdresser or confronting the past, make this book memorable.-- Andrea Caron Kempf, Johnson Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, Kan.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812918052
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/25/1990
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 246

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

    After reading Njeri's book, all I could think was "Wow.&quo

    After reading Njeri's book, all I could think was "Wow." She is a brilliant mind at work on the pages of EVERY GOOD-BYE AIN'T GONE. This writer does what writers long to do in autobiographies and memoirs. She totally attract the reader by vividly, candidly, and honestly capturing the essence of her life through the characters who help complete it. It's not just a story. It's an interesting story of Black, intellectual life in a time that was curious to all. Aside from the vast array of characters in Njeri's life portrayed in the book, the writer's brilliance shines through as she pens an amazing historical account that makes this book not only a memoir but a historical feat. I felt as though I was reading Ellison or Wright, and at the same time I seemed to be reading the African American female version of Forrest Gump. Njeri includes just the right moments that make this book tick. Her paths and the paths of her ancestors have crossed with some memorable, iconic figures in African American history, and this makes the book all the more attractive and amazing. I was in awe of the prowess of her writing. She has written from a place and time that is not just her own. She writes from a place deep inside the history of America. This book is timeless, and it's a stylistic, terrific example of memoir/autobiographical writing.

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