"Oliver has a vibrant, evocative story to tell." Athens Banner-Herald
"Captures of personal tumult of coming-of-age in the 1960s with the life-changing movements for civil and women's rights." Booklist
"An intimate and captivating portrait of an African-American, female, Floridian, baby-boomer's life." Florida Forum
"A complex and multi-layered story, with photographs and art, of coming of age in the Jim Crow South after the Second World War." Florida Historical Quarterly
"This charming little book is the memoir of Kitty Oliver, one of the first African-American students to attend the desegregated University of Florida in 1965." Florida Today
"Chronicles the strains of Oliver's transition from the Jim Crow South to desegregation, but her memoir is also an up-beat journal of self-discovery." Jacksonville Free Press
"Oliver is a veteran South Florida journalist, and her story, told without rancor, speaks directly to the black female experience of her generation." Johnson City Press
"A thinking woman's memoir of a journey with many side trips from a Black girl's childhood in segregated Jacksonville, Florida, through a coming-of-age reinvention of her self as 'a product of the civil rights movement, of integration, of all the promises it held' and back to her origins as an archaeologist of her own past.... Written with such poetic sensitivity, with such attention to sensory detail and the cadences of language, that the reader is likely to forget that this delightful field trip is also meant to be educational." Judith Ortiz Cofer
"A rich, 'real' reading part travelogue, part memoir tender and thoughtful both. This is a rare and generous memorial of a black girl and the black south." Karla Holloway
"A beautifully written memoir.... filled with rich prose. Oliver, one of 35 African Americans to integrate the University of Florida in 1965, shares her college experiences in Gainesville, traces her Gullah roots in South Carolina, and offers lively stories of her family all enhanced by large doses of Southern folktales, food, and music." Library Journal
"Multicolored Memories is funny and the language is entertaining, but more than that, it is real.... A story of a woman's self-discovery and her ability to overcome the obstacles that come from living in integrated America." Louisville Defender
"Oliver, a self-styled 'maverick,' grapples with the complexities of assimilating into mainstream culture." Publishers Weekly
"This is an enlightening story for all ages and as good as Maya Angelou's." Rose Shell Reviews
"We piece together a life of meeting people, going places, collecting stories," says Oliver, a journalist and writer in residence at Florida Atlantic University, but the pieces don't quite gel in this lifeless account of one of the first African-American freshmen to integrate the University of Florida in 1965. Her experiences intrigue (her father was fired from his job at a local restaurant after she participated in a civil rights demonstration, and she adopted a biracial child), but her book is pedestrian. Part autobiography (marred by an overabundance of "I," even for this genre), part account of a generation (dulled by an arguably editorial "we") and part meandering memoir, it leaves the reader with a confusing m?lange of personal history and impersonal generalities. Autobiographical detail is lacking e.g., her husband and children receive short shrift and authority is scant for broad observations about her generation. Stories that might pass muster at family gatherings (getting lost in a store, one's first cup of cappuccino) wilt between book covers. The memoir reads like discreet essays that simply fail to cohere, and the chronology is equally disordered. Such work is sometimes redeemed by elegance and grace, but no such luck here: the style is flavorless. (Oct.) Forecast: This is far from Anne Moody's Coming of Age and Lorene Cary's Black Ice. Women's studies groups will pick it up, and black readers who came of age in the '60s may identify, but nothing else will push sales much. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Oliver (Voices of America), who worked for the Miami Herald for 19 years and is now writer-in-residence at Florida Atlantic University, was one of the first African American freshmen to integrate the University of Florida in 1965. In this beautifully written memoir, she tells the story of her school experiences, her search for her roots, and her marriage and eventual divorce. She also discusses the fears she used to have about the white community and how she went beyond the stereotypes imposed on her as a child to come to terms with living an integrated life in the United States. The only downside to her account is that she tends to bounce back and forth so much that it is sometimes difficult to follow the story. Still, this unique blend of autobiography and travelog is filled with rich prose that will keep many readers' interest. For all academic libraries with Southern or racial studies collections. Danna Bell-Russel, Library of Congress Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.