Real American

 fearless debut memoir in which beloved and bestselling How to Raise an Adult author Julie Lythcott-Haims pulls no punches in her recollections of growing up a biracial black woman in America.

Bringing a poetic sensibility to her prose to stunning effect, Lythcott-Haims briskly and stirringly evokes her personal battle with the low self-esteem that American racism routinely inflicts on people of color. The only child of a marriage between an African-American father and a white British mother, she shows indelibly how so-called "micro" aggressions in addition to blunt force insults can puncture a person's inner life with a thousand sharp cuts. Real American expresses also, through Lythcott-Haims's path to self-acceptance, the healing power of community in overcoming the hurtful isolation of being incessantly considered "the other."

The author of the New York Times bestselling anti-helicopter parenting manifesto How to Raise an Adult, Lythcott-Haims has written a different sort of book this time out, but one that will nevertheless resonate with the legions of students, educators and parents to whom she is now well known, by whom she is beloved, and to whom she has always provided wise and necessary counsel about how to embrace and nurture their best selves. Real American is an affecting memoir, an unforgettable cri de coeur, and a clarion call to all of us to live more wisely, generously and fully.

My Review

If you are a fan of memoirs than you will be thrilled with this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that Julie did not stray away from sharing her feelings, experiences, and thoughts. As Julie points out "white people don't feel sorry for yourselves". I hate labels like "white" "black" "yellow". White people really do have it easier due to their skin color.

Growing up I too was judged and not thought of as just a person but had to deal with the fact that my eyes were almond shaped and I looked "different". This happened as early as I can remember in second grade. The worse experience I can remember is going home on the school bus and being offered what I thought was candied red hearts only to find out it was candle wax. Waiting for the bus to arrive at my stop with a mouth full of candle wax and rushing home to spit it out. This is probably why I gravitated towards the other "misfits" at school. One of my friends was black and deaf for which I learned sign language to speak with her. So, I could relate to what Julie experienced. Luckily, never too the extreme that Julie encountered.

Again, this is why I enjoyed this book reading this book felt like I was getting a "raw/stripped down" look into Julie's life and what it is like to just want to fit in. Kind of like when a singer gives a performance by singing without a back track or instruments. I could not stop reading this book. You have to check this book out.


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