Crossing Borders by Katherine Ellis
A Memoir

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"An immensely brave, honest book. . . . The whole is seamlessly and deftly made--a compelling, forward-moving narrative. The writing is very strong." --Kennedy Fraser, author of Ornament and Silence: Essays on Women’s Lives

Telling the interracial love story of an English professor and a traditional woodcarver from a tiny Nigerian village, this powerful memoir follows one woman on her journey back into parts of her life where unresolved conflicts remain like landmines on her path.
 From bouts with anorexia, her mother's alcoholic marriage, a failed marriage of her own, and her trauma after being shot and nearly killed by two black teenagers (the violent confrontation that becomes a central reference point in this story), Kate Ellis’s life opens out in unexpected directions. In an attempt to come to terms with the assault, Ellis attends several black churches and volunteers to work with inner-city teenagers. While chaperoning a trip to Nigeria she meets Foley, an artist with whom she enters a marriage filled with challenges and surprises.
 "It's in places where I don't belong that the blessings of my life have found me," Ellis writes. Crossing borders that separate the United States from her birthplace in Toronto, North America from Africa, marriage from singleness, privilege from poverty, and blackness from whiteness, this dramatic autobiography describes a journey of discovery that explores class, race, and feminism and, finally, reconciles the author to her own history.

Kate Ellis is an associate professor of English at Rutgers University in New Jersey. She is the author of The Contested Castle: Gothic Novels and the Subversion of Domestic Ideology as well as poems and short fiction.


About Katherine Ellis

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Ellis is an associate professor of English at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Published December 15, 2001 by University Press of Florida. 272 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Realizing that "I like to cross boundaries, to go places that people like me are expected to avoid," Ellis ultimately found herself in Nigeria, where she married a young Nigerian woodcarver.

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