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I'm Down: A Memoir
     

I'm Down: A Memoir

3.7 83
by Mishna Wolff
 

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ISBN-10: 0312378556

ISBN-13: 9780312378554

Pub. Date: 05/26/2009

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Mishna Wolff grew up in a poor black neighborhood with her single father, a white man who truly believed he was black. "He strutted around with a short perm, a Cosby-esqe sweater, gold chains and a Kangol—telling jokes like Redd Fox, and giving advice like Jesse Jackson. You couldn't tell my father he was white. Believe me, I tried," writes Wolff. And so from

Overview

Mishna Wolff grew up in a poor black neighborhood with her single father, a white man who truly believed he was black. "He strutted around with a short perm, a Cosby-esqe sweater, gold chains and a Kangol—telling jokes like Redd Fox, and giving advice like Jesse Jackson. You couldn't tell my father he was white. Believe me, I tried," writes Wolff. And so from early childhood on, her father began his crusade to make his white daughter down.

Unfortunately, Mishna didn't quite fit in with the neighborhood kids: she couldn't dance, she couldn't sing, she couldn't double Dutch and she was the worst player on her all-black basketball team. She was shy, uncool, and painfully white. And yet when she was suddenly sent to a rich white school, she found she was too "black" to fit in with her white classmates.

I'm Down is a hip, hysterical and at the same time beautiful memoir that will have you howling with laughter, recommending it to friends and questioning what it means to be black and white in America.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312378554
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
05/26/2009
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.82(w) x 8.54(h) x 1.08(d)
Lexile:
820L (what's this?)
Age Range:
15 - 18 Years

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I'm Down 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 83 reviews.
SylviaRecommends More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, and I just wanted to stop by and recommend it to anyone else looking for something extra special to read. Mishna Wolff is just as funny as David Sedaris at his best, and at the heart of her memoir is a truly touching family story that brought tears to my eyes in places. Anyone who's ever felt like a misfit or an outsider, or who grew up wishing they were cooler or richer or more popular, will surely find a kindred spirit in Mishna Wolff. This is one of my new favorite books, and I'm so glad it's out there.
ssgbutlerec More than 1 year ago
"You thought you could bring your broke-a#% turtle down here to play Barbies?"...I just stood on the corner holding Tommy the Turtle as five black girls holding plastic white women laughed at my stupidity" That line sealed it for me. All you have to do is read the sample chapter from Wolff's book and I'm sure that you are going to enjoy your stay in her world. What impressed me the most is that Wolff shows the influence that culture and relationships can have on young mind, while at the same time showing the difficulties that are encountered by the impoverished. It's strongest draw is that the characters (Yvonne, in particular) are fleshed out and you can often see the reason in their madness. The most telling aspect of this story though is the dialect. Too often you see "Black" slang interpreted as poorly spelled word and crazy contractions, that often times leaves readers (even black ones) confused. But Wolff captures the essence of the language and tones by using **real** words in the manner that speech is actually carried on. This was one of the best examples I have seen of Black speech on paper and it shows that the author was really down. This is a great read simply put.
Simis-mom More than 1 year ago
This book is hilarious! Ms. Wolff's use of imagery is superb. She had me laughing out loud at her depictions of life as a white girl in a black neighborhood. Since she and I grew up in the same type of neighborhood, I could really relate to her circumstances. The only difference is I am black. I'm a daddy's girl, too. Any daddy's girl knows that your existence (especially when you're young) is all about pleasing him. Her quest for his undying love and devotion is really the heart of this story. Have your family and co-workers read it also so you can compare stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shauna19 More than 1 year ago
This memoir was a quick and easy read. It was charming and funny but, I felt like there needs to be more to the story. I was left wondering "well... what happened?" I'm hoping for a follow-up memoir because this one doesn't feel complete.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, laugh out loud funny in MANY places. Hilarious, and touching too in a way that had me wincing from the mental imagery her words evoked.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want something that will give you a few laughs, doesn't require much attention and at the end seems rather pointless, this is for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Written so it's a quick read. Entertaining and interesting. Stays in the span of her childhood to middle school. There definitely needs to be another memoir to continue the story. It doesn't feel complete. Still a good read despite this.
BarbaraAndLibbyEnglish More than 1 year ago
Was pretty good
Moshi53 More than 1 year ago
Mishna Wolff's story is funny, sweet, painful, and so well done. I too had a white father who thought he was black...and Latino, and Asian--anything but white. And so this story, which may sound far-fetched to some, rang oh so true to me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So funny. Not exeedingly profound, but fun.
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I really liked reading this book.
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Jennifer Monacelli More than 1 year ago
This+book+was+a+delight+to+read.++One+of+those+that+you+wish+was+longer.++I%27m+hoping+there+is+more+to+this+story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago