Ace of Spades by David Matthews
A Memoir

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A take-no-prisoners tale of growing up without knowing who you are
When David Matthews's mother abandoned him as an infant, she left him with white skin and the rumor that he might be half Jewish. For the next twenty years, he would be torn between his actual life as a black boy in the ghetto of 1980s Baltimore and a largely imagined world of white privilege. While his father, a black activist who counted Malcolm X among his friends, worked long hours as managing editor at the Baltimore Afro-American, David spent his early years escaping wicked-stepmother types and nursing an eleven-hour-a-day TV habit alongside his grandmother in her old-folks-home apartment. In Reagan-era America, there was no box marked "Other," no multiculturalism or self-serving political correctness, only a young boy's need to make it in a clearly segregated world where white meant "have" and black meant "have not." Without particular allegiance to either, David careened in and out of community college, dead-end jobs, his father's life, and girls' pants.  A bracing yet hilarious reinvention of the American story of passing, Ace of Spades marks the debut of an irresistible and fiercely original new voice.

About David Matthews

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David Matthews is a writer living in New York. He has appeared on The Tavis Smiley Show and the CBS Sunday Morning Show, and in People magazine.
Published February 6, 2007 by Henry Holt and Co.. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Ace of Spades

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Debut memoir relates the author's struggles with a mixed-race identity, his family's battles with poverty and his search for a profoundly schizophrenic mother who disappeared during his infancy.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Ace of Spades: A Memoir

The New York Times

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A biracial author struggles to define his cultural identity.

Feb 11 2007 | Read Full Review of Ace of Spades: A Memoir

Book Reporter

In an area of town where the privileged whites are becoming the minority --- and where the blacks are taking over in number, force and resentment of their status --- his part of town does not allow for subtleties of color or of a mixed-race identity.

Feb 06 2007 | Read Full Review of Ace of Spades: A Memoir

Charleston City Paper

Like Angelina Dove, Matthews passed for white for the first 20 years of his life - throughout the 1970s, ’80s and into the ’90s - as a means of living more happily in an America still in thrall to the oppressive requirement of identification according to race.

Mar 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Ace of Spades: A Memoir

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