Guidebook to Relative Strangers by Camille T. Dungy
Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History

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Forthright, entertaining, often potent essays that successfully intertwine personal history and historical context regarding black and white in America.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

An award-winning African American poet debuts in prose with a stunningly graceful and honest exploration of race, motherhood, and history.


As a working mother whose livelihood as a poet-lecturer depended on travel, Camille Dungy crisscrossed America with her infant, then toddler, intensely aware of how they are seen, not just as mother and child, but as black women. With a poet’s eye, she celebrates her daughter’s acquisition of language and discoveries of the natural and human world around her. At the same time history shadows her steps everywhere she goes: from the San Francisco of settlers’ and investors’ dreams to the slave-trading ports of Ghana; from snow-white Maine to a festive, yet threatening, bonfire in the Virginia pinewoods.


With exceptional candor and grace, Dungy explores our inner and outer worlds—the intimate and vulnerable experiences of raising a child, living with illness, conversing with strangers, and counting on others’ goodwill. Across the nation, she finds fear and trauma, and also mercy, kindness, and community. Penetrating and generous, Guidebook to Relative Strangers is an essential guide for a troubled land.

 

About Camille T. Dungy

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Published June 13, 2017 by W. W. Norton & Company. 250 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Parenting & Relationships, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Guidebook to Relative Strangers
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Apr 02 2017

Forthright, entertaining, often potent essays that successfully intertwine personal history and historical context regarding black and white in America.

Read Full Review of Guidebook to Relative Strange... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by ANJALI ENJETI on Jun 19 2017

Motherhood memoirs make up a robust though almost entirely white genre. Camille T. Dungy’s evocative debut, “Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys Into Race, Motherhood, and History,” meticulously parses the ways in which work, travel and creativity affect black motherhood, and in doing so provides a much needed perspective.

Read Full Review of Guidebook to Relative Strange... | See more reviews from Star Tribune

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