May/June 2023 Selection
by T Kira Madden
Acclaimed literary essayist T Kira Madden's raw and redemptive debut memoir is about coming of age and reckoning with desire as a queer, biracial teenager amidst the fierce contradictions of Boca Raton, Florida, a place where she found cult-like privilege, shocking racial disparities, rampant white-collar crime and powerfully destructive standards of beauty hiding in plain sight.
As a child, Madden lived a life of extravagance, from her exclusive private school to her equestrian trophies and designer shoe-brand name. But under the surface was a wild instability. The only child of parents continually battling drug and alcohol addictions, Madden confronted her environment alone. Facing a culture of assault and objectification, she found lifelines in the desperately loving friendships of fatherless girls.
With unflinching honesty and lyrical prose, spanning from 1960s Hawai'i to the present-day struggle of a young woman mourning the loss of a father while unearthing truths that reframe her reality, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls is equal parts eulogy and love letter. It's a story about trauma and forgiveness, about families of blood and affinity, both lost and found, unmade and rebuilt, crooked and beautiful.
About the Authors
T Kira Māhealani Madden is a Chinese, Kānaka Maoli writer, photographer and amateur magician. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College and an BA in design and literature from Parsons School of Design and Eugene Lang College. She is the Founding Editor of No Tokens, a magazine of literature and art, and is a 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in nonfiction literature from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She has received fellowships from MacDowell, Hedgebrook, Tin House, DISQUIET, Summer Literary Seminars and Yaddo, where she was selected for the 2017 Linda Collins Endowed Residency Award. Her debut memoir, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls, was a New York Times Editors' Choice selection, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, a finalist for the LAMBDA Literary Award for lesbian memoir, and is now in development as a feature film. Her debut novel, Whidbey, is forthcoming with Mariner/HarperCollins.
"If my mother gave me language, my father gave me magic." ― T Kira Madden , Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls