Literary essayist T Kira Madden's 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.
... stunning ... Like the greats, Madden writes with devastating clarity and lyricism, becomes a storyteller trustworthy enough to tell even the ugliest of truths. Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls will make you want to remember, to want more. It takes unexpected turns, as Madden ends up with even more emotional discoveries about her family and herself, and as she navigates being truly fatherless after his death. This story takes lots of glittery guts to tell.
Readers searching for this kind of redemptive story may not like T Kira Madden's memoir, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls. But the other readers? The ones who value seeing the mess that is childhood, the volatility of desire, the madness of girlhood and what is expected of it? They may well wear out the book's covers with fervid rereading ... The honesty and vividness with which Madden writes and the tightly controlled structure she utilizes only emphasize the fact that Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls is a deeply compassionate book, though not an apologetic one. In baring the bad and ugly alongside the good, Madden has succeeded in creating a mirror of larger concerns, even as her own story is achingly specific and personal.
...this tale is a gritty glittering treat, composed of sentences and essays that will surprise you with their form as much as their content ... What every single essay in the book has in common is the earnestness and cynicism of a child who often had to parent the grown ups in her life, cultivated from an early age. There is also a sense of urgency and a hint of danger within each individual sentence ... I was not prepared for the way her words could crack open a life, a heart, and then – carefully, purposefully – put it back together ... One of the things that stands out most in Long Live is T Kira’s incredible generosity; almost everyone gets a shade of nuance, a gesture that shows us their humanity ... a must-read for all humans who enjoy good storytelling, careful renderings of the characters that make up a life, and blunt candor about what it can mean to be a girl. I think it is a particular must-read for queer humans.