2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
One of the best memoirs I've read in years,
This review is from: My Long Trip Home: A Family Memoir (Hardcover)
Mark Whitaker grew up in a most unusual family. The son of interracial parents who were both intellectuals, he had opportunities for travel and education, and some excellent mentors. He spent time living and traveling abroad, including a memorable year in France where, with some initial difficulty, he was able to learn the language. In Le Chambon, France, he perceives the situation of Protestants, who are a minority of just 2 percent in comparison to Catholics, and he wonders if their religion and history of persecution was a factor in their heroic treatment of Jewish refugees during World War II. His gift for self awareness and clear observations is evident throughout: he understands the tension of being a minority student at Harvard, yet can see irony in the fact that most of the black students there came from the same elite schools as the white students. Whitaker writes about his experience of being the son of a father who is often impaired or absent through most of his childhood. His ability to describe traumatic and painful experiences without self pity is exceptional.