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Kinfolks: Falling Off the Family Tree Paperback – March 1, 2012
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“A sometimes hilarious, often poignant, always memorable ride.” (Judy Blume)
Top Customer Reviews
I 've traced my genealogy back further than I ever intended, and the same things kept coming up that Alther faced: who are these people from whom I've sprung and why are some of them designated as "mulatto" on the census? Why do my family members have all that beautiful black hair and can tan while stringing Christmas lights yet they have remarkably blue eyes???
While researching my own Melungeon/Metis roots, I came across this book. Alther saved me a lot of research and had access to documentation that I could never hope for. If you are researching the topic or if you are just looking for a well written, intelligent, hilarious road trip of a book, put this one on your list.
I read both Kinflicks and Original Sin back when they were published, but this is the first book by Alther I've read in, oh, maybe 30 years. I'd love to read her back-list, but much of it seems to be out-of-print. Maybe if this book, her first book of non-fiction, proves popular (and profitable)her back list works will be republished.
And, finally, it was so refreshing to read a memoir of someone who had a - reasonably - happy childhood.
I especially enjoyed the quirky interviews she had with people on her quest in the Appalachian Mountains for her six-fingered relatives. And seeing the varied results of the genetic testing makes me curious about my own family rumors of native American ancestors.
It's a twice read book for me. Kate
Always humorous with a low-key, wry, droll wit, Alther traverses her family life with her amazing father's humorous stories and anecdotes, tempered by her equally amazing mother who kept all of them in check as both of them encouraged their large family toward excellence which all achieved with missteps along the way as most successful people have.
Alther digs deep and delivers much depth in Kinfolks, falling off the family tree, going places many people fear to tread. The cover is as intriguing as the book with main title in the many-faceted colors of mixed races as all of us are. A green road sign we've all seen says "The Search for My Melungeon Ancestors," and her name is on the cover inside a black and white state road sign, symbolic of both her birthplace and her travels, not only for research but the search for self.
She finds answers about her origins as well as who and why she is. Mysteries remain. In addition to her self-effacing tongue-in-cheek manner, some of the humorous interludes in her book are the interspersed signs on church bulletin boards she sees while driving around Kingsport and environs.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author soon reveals herself to be a liberal, inundating the book with agitating and hateful comments. Read morePublished 4 months ago by David Halk
Wonderful book by fabulous author. A journey of family exploration that recapitulates self exploration. Historical, allegorical, witty, and ultimately existential. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Nicholas K.
This book was a "snorer" Didn't find it amusing or very readable. I put it down before finishing it.Published 19 months ago by "Ali"
Interesting book - sometimes there's too much background and not enough Melungeon...Published 23 months ago by Katie Batten
As a Melungeon descendant I really enjoyed this book. The author is awesome and a great person.Published on August 23, 2014 by Michael T. Green
I DIDN'T PURCHASE THIS BOOK FROM AMAZON, BUT I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED, THIS BOOK. IT WAS A GREAT STORY AND I FELT LIKE IT WAS EYE OPENING TO HOW ONE SHOULD BE OPEN MINDED AND READY TO... Read morePublished on June 2, 2014 by Motherbug
History teachers should make this part of required reading for all 9th and 10th grade student! My curiosity about my ancestors has led me to delve in my Portugese and Spaniard... Read morePublished on March 4, 2014 by Rosemarie M.