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My Time Among the Whites: Notes from an Unfinished Education

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From the author of Make Your Home Among Strangers, essays on being an accidental Americanan incisive look at the edges of identity for a woman of color in a society centered on whiteness In this sharp and candid collection of essays, critically acclaimed writer and first-generation American Jennine Capó Crucet explores the condition of finding herself a stranger in the From the author of Make Your Home Among Strangers, essays on being an “accidental” American—an incisive look at the edges of identity for a woman of color in a society centered on whiteness In this sharp and candid collection of essays, critically acclaimed writer and first-generation American Jennine Capó Crucet explores the condition of finding herself a stranger in the country where she was born. Raised in Miami and the daughter of Cuban refugees, Crucet examines the political and personal contours of American identity and the physical places where those contours find themselves smashed: be it a rodeo town in Nebraska, a university campus in upstate New York, or Disney World in Florida. Crucet illuminates how she came to see her exclusion from aspects of the theoretical American Dream, despite her family’s attempts to fit in with white American culture—beginning with their ill-fated plan to name her after the winner of the Miss America pageant. In prose that is both fearless and slyly humorous, My Time Among the Whites examines the sometimes hopeful, sometimes deeply flawed ways in which many Americans have learned to adapt, exist, and—in the face of all signals saying otherwise—perhaps even thrive in a country that never imagined them here.


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From the author of Make Your Home Among Strangers, essays on being an accidental Americanan incisive look at the edges of identity for a woman of color in a society centered on whiteness In this sharp and candid collection of essays, critically acclaimed writer and first-generation American Jennine Capó Crucet explores the condition of finding herself a stranger in the From the author of Make Your Home Among Strangers, essays on being an “accidental” American—an incisive look at the edges of identity for a woman of color in a society centered on whiteness In this sharp and candid collection of essays, critically acclaimed writer and first-generation American Jennine Capó Crucet explores the condition of finding herself a stranger in the country where she was born. Raised in Miami and the daughter of Cuban refugees, Crucet examines the political and personal contours of American identity and the physical places where those contours find themselves smashed: be it a rodeo town in Nebraska, a university campus in upstate New York, or Disney World in Florida. Crucet illuminates how she came to see her exclusion from aspects of the theoretical American Dream, despite her family’s attempts to fit in with white American culture—beginning with their ill-fated plan to name her after the winner of the Miss America pageant. In prose that is both fearless and slyly humorous, My Time Among the Whites examines the sometimes hopeful, sometimes deeply flawed ways in which many Americans have learned to adapt, exist, and—in the face of all signals saying otherwise—perhaps even thrive in a country that never imagined them here.

30 review for My Time Among the Whites: Notes from an Unfinished Education

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    I wanted to read this after some students in Georgia burned the author's books after she spoke there. I'd say there's a bit of shared thematic content between this group of essays and her novel, Make Your Home Among Strangers, but this is a quick read and moves farther into the present. Not surprisingly, the Georgia incident is not the first time she's had to deal with white tears at a college when she has been brought there for the campus read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    A searing look at white privilege based on the authors personal experiences as a first generation Cuban American navigating college and post graduation life. As uncomfortable as this book will make a lot of people the truth is that its supposed to make us uncomfortable. We need hard truths sometimes to shake things up and make real change. I also know this book will provide a lot of comfort for those that too find themselves a fish out out of water for when they feel unworthy or lost among a sea A searing look at white privilege based on the authors personal experiences as a first generation Cuban American navigating college and post graduation life. As uncomfortable as this book will make a lot of people the truth is that it’s supposed to make us uncomfortable. We need hard truths sometimes to shake things up and make real change. I also know this book will provide a lot of comfort for those that too find themselves a fish out out of water for when they feel unworthy or lost among a sea of only white faces. This is a great book for enhancing a different perspective and to prompt further discourse.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chris Gonzalez

    This is the kind of book I wish I had around when I was a freshman in college, that might have made navigating the whiteness and white spaces a bit easier. It also would have opened my eyes to some unchecked behavior and thoughts I used to have, too. These are incredibly strong and compelling essays with a touch of humor that speak to today.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I didnt agree with everything in the book, just based on some of my own experiences as a daughter of immigrants (my parents are from Brazil and moved to the US as teenagers) and first person in my family to attend and graduate college, but overall, there are so many different opportunities for discussion within these pages. For example, she states, Many white people Ive met often think of themselves a culture-less, as vanilla: plain, boring, American white. Initially I disagreed with this because I didn’t agree with everything in the book, just based on some of my own experiences as a daughter of immigrants (my parents are from Brazil and moved to the US as teenagers) and first person in my family to attend and graduate college, but overall, there are so many different opportunities for discussion within these pages. For example, she states, “Many white people I’ve met often think of themselves a culture-less, as vanilla: plain, boring, American white.” Initially I disagreed with this because I’ve NEVER heard a white person say this. But then I asked some of you what you thought about this in my stories, and I got so many different responses! I heard a good amount of white people agree that they don’t feel like they have a strong culture, while others felt differently. The question sparked such an interesting (and civil!) conversation. In the second half of the book, she touches on her background, growing up as a light-skinned Cuban-American in Miami. Because she has lighter skin, she accesses certain white spaces, where others assume she’s white, which provides her with access and insights others might not have. She currently lives and works in Nebraska, which is a predominantly white state. It was interesting to read about how growing up in Miami as a Cuban-American was the equivalent of being white in other parts of the country, since a lot of that community caters to the Cuban experience. I think knowing that info helped me better understand her observations in other parts of the book. Recently, some students at Georgia Southern University we’re so ‘offended’ by this book that they burned their copies. If anything, you should pick it up and read it just offset some of that ignorance and hatred. If you’re just reading this in a bubble, you may or may not like what she has to say. But if you’re reading this with others, especially if you’re reading with people of different backgrounds and life experiences, I think you will get a lot out of it. Whether her experiences resonate with you or not, there something to be learned here.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nicky

    I meant to savor this book and read it over the course of several days, but Crucet is so thoughtful and hilarious I ended up reading it in one sitting. (Though I will definitely be revisiting.) Also, full disclosure, Im a Cuban-American who grew up in Hialeah and went to the northeast for college, then got my MFA in fiction, so Ive been counting down the days til publication for this one. I cried a lot. I wish this book had been in the world years ago, and Im so glad it is now. I meant to savor this book and read it over the course of several days, but Crucet is so thoughtful and hilarious I ended up reading it in one sitting. (Though I will definitely be revisiting.) Also, full disclosure, I’m a Cuban-American who grew up in Hialeah and went to the northeast for college, then got my MFA in fiction, so I’ve been counting down the days til publication for this one. I cried a lot. I wish this book had been in the world years ago, and I’m so glad it is now.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    Having now read this book, and thus having a better idea of what the author might have said in her talk at Georgia Southern University last year, I feel even more eye-rolly toward that those racist white dipshits who burned her book because she got them all in their hurt feels. The thing is--everything she says/writes about white privilege and how it functions in this country (and elsewhere) and has functioned for...well, basically all of human history, and certainly all of U.S. history is Having now read this book, and thus having a better idea of what the author might have said in her talk at Georgia Southern University last year, I feel even more eye-rolly toward that those racist white dipshits who burned her book because she got them all in their hurt feels. The thing is--everything she says/writes about white privilege and how it functions in this country (and elsewhere) and has functioned for...well, basically all of human history, and certainly all of U.S. history is completely and objectively true. Anyone who denies it is in fact proving its existence, IMO. And I appreciate how straightforwardly she lays that out. I also liked how she spoke of her own tangential benefits from it, as a light-skinned Latinx woman who can "pass" for white if she wants to, and who has often been seen as white even when she wasn't trying to. She acknowledges that such a thing is its own kind of privilege, but there's also the fact that passing can be a little heartbreaking, too. Knowing that a benefit or a moment of safety was only secured because you essentially hid a fundamental aspect of your identity can be rewarding in the moment, but can also be really depressing. As a Jewish woman who doesn't have a "Jewish" last name, I can choose whether or not people know I'm Jewish. I wear a Star of David every day, but if I leave it at home, or it's hidden under my shirt or scarf, then no one would know. There have been times I've been glad of that when the alternative could have put me at risk. But it still makes me sad. And Crucet's discussion of how white people speak around her when they think she's also white is...oof. Having an inkling of what people say behind closed doors is one thing; being behind those doors as well and having it repugnantly confirmed, right to your face, is another. I also enjoyed most of the slice-of-life essays about her life in very Cuban Miami and very not Cuban Nebraska, her love for all things and all parks Disney, and navigating college as a first-generation student in her family. A couple of the pieces weren't as interesting to me, and the last one I had to skim a lot of due to specific triggers, but overall this is an insightful and also enjoyable read. And it made racists mad, so that is of course a bonus.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Loved! My Time Among the Whites is an instant favorite essay collection. I was immediately captured by Crucets writing, and her thoughtful observations about topics ranging from being a first generation college student, to her complicated love of Disney world, to whiteness and institutionalized racism in academia. Crucet is witty and whip smart and convicting. As a white person, this book opened my eyes to places of privilege I wasnt previously aware of in unexplored nooks of my experience. I Loved! My Time Among the Whites is an instant favorite essay collection. I was immediately captured by Crucet’s writing, and her thoughtful observations about topics ranging from being a first generation college student, to her complicated love of Disney world, to whiteness and institutionalized racism in academia. Crucet is witty and whip smart and convicting. As a white person, this book opened my eyes to places of privilege I wasn’t previously aware of in unexplored nooks of my experience. I also didn’t know almost anything about the ways Cuban immigrants were previously afforded unique privileges over other Latinx immigrants, and while I’m sure this book only scratched the surface I still learned so much. Crucet’s manifold insights on our world and herself, and her vulnerability in confronting the diverse personal topics of this collection make this an easy new favorite. Naturally, I’m now absolutely rattling with excitement to get my hands on Crucet’s novel, Make Your Home Among Strangers! ⁣ ⁣ Tldr - highest recommendation for this one, just wow.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    If any white person wants to deny white privilege exists -- or simply doesn't understand what it means (exactly), I encourage them to read books written by people of color, such as this one. Jennine Capo Crucet is a first generation American born to Cuban immigrant parents. "My Time Among Whites" is basically a series of essays about her life as a Latinx woman in a very white America. While some books I've read focus on bigger racial issues, like systemic racism, this book shone light on the If any white person wants to deny white privilege exists -- or simply doesn't understand what it means (exactly), I encourage them to read books written by people of color, such as this one. Jennine Capo Crucet is a first generation American born to Cuban immigrant parents. "My Time Among Whites" is basically a series of essays about her life as a Latinx woman in a very white America. While some books I've read focus on bigger racial issues, like systemic racism, this book shone light on the smaller things I've never thought about. Imagine a word processing program always putting that red squiggly line under your name, because it's not a 'white' name. Imagine trying to look 'more white' so a landlord will rent to you. Imagine keeping your heritage a secret, because someone you're forced to deal with hates the true you. Imagine having to consider how white people will feel about an event you host (such as a wedding) if you incorporate too much of your culture. White people don't have a culture, so to speak. The while culture is the standard. It's the norm. We, as white people, have never given it a second thought -- or considered if our ways of doing things would make someone of color feel uncomfortable. It's another manifestation of white privilege. I'm grateful I got to read this book. I'm grateful the author shared details from her life so frankly and poignantly. I feel as if books like this open my eyes a little more with each one I read. "My Time Among the Whites" is a powerful book, but it's sad that in 2020 a book like this needs to be written.

  9. 5 out of 5

    vanessa

    4.5. I gotta sit with it - it might be 5 stars. This little book is such a force. It felt honest and vulnerable. Its essays felt incredibly relatable for this girl who also grew up in South Florida and did not know a life where 80% of the population around her wasnt Latinx until she went to high school. My favorite essays were Magic Kingdoms (about Disneys messaging and growing up with the Orlando park), Say I Do (about differences between white people and Cuban people when it comes to a 4.5. I gotta sit with it - it might be 5 stars. This little book is such a force. It felt honest and vulnerable. Its essays felt incredibly relatable for this girl who also grew up in South Florida and did not know a life where 80% of the population around her wasn’t Latinx until she went to high school. My favorite essays were Magic Kingdoms (about Disney’s messaging and growing up with the Orlando park), Say I Do (about differences between white people and Cuban people when it comes to a wedding), The Country We Now Call Home (it’s literally a mirror to me talking to my dad about voting in the 2016 election), and A Prognosis (why are Latinx dads so private and emotionally closed off?). I felt seen reading this collection.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne (The Novel Sanctuary)

    So good

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    So good, so smart and raw, concise, contemporary and relatable... highly recommend. While discussing hurricanes and her favorite Disney World rides and being the first in her family to go to college and how her father won't read her writing, she pinpoints how while performing everyday tasks she is aware of how she is perceived, either when she passes as white or is called out as Other and how both experiences shaped her and likely shaped and will continue to affect the POVs of other minority So good, so smart and raw, concise, contemporary and relatable... highly recommend. While discussing hurricanes and her favorite Disney World rides and being the first in her family to go to college and how her father won't read her writing, she pinpoints how while performing everyday tasks she is aware of how she is perceived, either when she passes as white or is called out as Other and how both experiences shaped her and likely shaped and will continue to affect the POVs of other minority people. 🙌🏻

  12. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    A really thoughtful and accessible book of essays on being a first-gen, fitting in with multiple cultures, and navigating white society. I echo what many others have said, in that I wish I had this book years ago, as it would have greatly improved my understanding of and ability to confront and respond to casual and systemic racism.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ericka Clouther

    Capo Crucet is a Cuban-American woman that's approximately my age that moved to Nebraska, and I'm a Cuban-American that moved to Nebraska, so I was pretty excited to read this collection. I don't have the same Florida ties but I did live in a particularly Cuban-area of New Jersey until I was 6. I could definitely relate to some of the ideas expressed by the author. For example, I also always have to field the "have I ever visited Cuba" question. Capo Crucet didn't explain why that one is tough Capo Crucet is a Cuban-American woman that's approximately my age that moved to Nebraska, and I'm a Cuban-American that moved to Nebraska, so I was pretty excited to read this collection. I don't have the same Florida ties but I did live in a particularly Cuban-area of New Jersey until I was 6. I could definitely relate to some of the ideas expressed by the author. For example, I also always have to field the "have I ever visited Cuba" question. Capo Crucet didn't explain why that one is tough (which she probably should have given her audience), so let me do it: the laws regarding travel to Cuba are complicated, and if you seek to do it legally, it's tough. You can't access American cash over there, so currency will be an issue. Additionally, many Cuban-Americans support the embargo against Cuba, so even if you don't personally, get ready to face the ire of many friends and family. But that's not really an answer that you have time to give every single time you're asked, and I get asked a lot. I particularly liked the essay about her marriage, moving to Nebraska, and then crashing a bunch of weddings. I thought it was really vivid and interesting, and her feelings were palpable.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Givens

    When I first heard of this nonfic. exploration of identity from a WOC in a society (academia and beyond) built on whiteness, I knew that I had to read it. My friends and I talk frequently about what it's like to be a first gen. WOC in academic and let me just tell you, IT IS HARD. From the daily microaggressions to being asked to be the voice of all black/latinx/etc. people. It's real. This is one of the first times i've seen such a nuanced response to this experience. Bonus because, like me, When I first heard of this nonfic. exploration of identity from a WOC in a society (academia and beyond) built on whiteness, I knew that I had to read it. My friends and I talk frequently about what it's like to be a first gen. WOC in academic and let me just tell you, IT IS HARD. From the daily microaggressions to being asked to be the voice of all black/latinx/etc. people. It's real. This is one of the first times i've seen such a nuanced response to this experience. Bonus because, like me, the author is a Nebraskan. ❤️📚

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    The first and last 2 essays had the biggest impact on me. I saw myself in key parts and felt like I was listening to someone who understood and maybe has figured out things I'm trying to (especially professionally).

  16. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    Her essays are powerful and engaging. I really want to read her fiction now.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gisselle Diaz (gissellereads)

    I loved this book and read it in a few sittings! There were so many ways I related to some of the stories. I laughed, cringed and even teared up while reading it. The essays are thought provoking and funny at times. This book not only talks about White privilege but also about the privilege some of us latinx have because we look white. This is something I think about a lot because I am Puerto Rican and I get told all the time but you dont look Puerto Rican or You dont have an accent. Its I loved this book and read it in a few sittings! There were so many ways I related to some of the stories. I laughed, cringed and even teared up while reading it. The essays are thought provoking and funny at times. This book not only talks about White privilege but also about the privilege some of us latinx have because we look white. This is something I think about a lot because I am Puerto Rican and I get told all the time “but you don’t look Puerto Rican” or “You don’t have an accent”. It’s something we don’t talk about enough and it was thought provoking and refreshing to read about. I loved the stories about her family. I found myself nodding so much at how I had similar experiences with my mine. At how our families sacrifice so much for us to go to college and get an education but then once you get there everything things change. I wish I had this book when I was in college. I think it would have opened my eyes to certain behaviors. Now I just want to go read Jennine’s fiction books and can’t wait for more books from her. I am so glad I found this book and I hope everyone reads it! Thank you so much to Picador for sending me this free book in exchange for an honest review

  18. 5 out of 5

    La'Tonya Rease Miles

    Using Chekhov's Gun There's an old saying often (misattributed to Shakespeare) that writers should never show a gun in the first act that isn't fired by the final act. Or something like that. In other words, don't bother giving a detail or introducing a theme unless you plan to do something with it later. Otherwise, you are just navel gazing and being kind of a show off. Crucet takes this advice to heart making these collection of essays feel like parts of a greater whole. She introduces herself Using Chekhov's Gun There's an old saying often (misattributed to Shakespeare) that writers should never show a gun in the first act that isn't fired by the final act. Or something like that. In other words, don't bother giving a detail or introducing a theme unless you plan to do something with it later. Otherwise, you are just navel gazing and being kind of a show off. Crucet takes this advice to heart making these collection of essays feel like parts of a greater whole. She introduces herself as a first-generation college student right at the beginning. Describing what is was like for her family to come (and stay) with her throughout new student orientation although at Cornell from Florida. And from there she moves on to other themes that on first pass may seem only tangentially related, but close readers will see that the author's identity as "first-gen" (to college and to the US) drives everything that comes afterwards. Crucet writes in the tradition of Laura Rendon who acknowledges both the blessings and the curses of being first in the family to go to college (unlike Richard Rodriguez who only writes about the burdens). And yet, as the author confesses, many things come with a price. (Paying a price is another theme that comes up later, unexpectedly and heartbreakingly). She is not quite sure if she made the right decision to attend Cornell instead of taking the "free ride" at the University of Florida. She leaves that to the reader to decide. It's a tough call, but I think my favorite section is "Say I Do," especially when she discusses the nuances of wedding DJs in Miami. It was reminiscent of a Richard Blanco's storytelling (he's also name checked here!) and just downright hilarious. I think the people next to me on the plane thought I was crazy. There's tons more I can say, but I will let other folks discover them. I can't wait to read more from this writer.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    As a first generation American, a daughter of Cuban refugees, this book gave me all the feels. _________________ "The American Dream, commonly told: .... When they are born, you give your kids white American names so that their teachers can't tell what they are before meeting them, so that your kids don't suffer the way you suffered in school, and so that they won't eventually be 'inexplicably' denied apartments and jobs despite their abundant qualifications." (p28-29) "Be safe, hide yourself in As a first generation American, a daughter of Cuban refugees, this book gave me all the feels. _________________ "The American Dream, commonly told: .... When they are born, you give your kids white American names so that their teachers can't tell what they are before meeting them, so that your kids don't suffer the way you suffered in school, and so that they won't eventually be 'inexplicably' denied apartments and jobs despite their abundant qualifications." (p28-29) "Be safe, hide yourself in plain site; live up to the gift - the promise - of your white-girl name." (p. 37) "I've come to see the American Dream for what it really is: a lie my parents had little choice but to buy into and sell to me, a lie that conflated working hard with passing for, becoming, and being white." (p. 40) "Many white people I've met often think of themselves as culture-less, as vanilla: plain, boring, American white. What they are revealing when they say this, which they often do in jest, is how little race impacts their lives, how whiteness is ubiquitous to them, and they mistake the ubiquitousness as a kind of neutrality or regularness that renders their race and culture invisible to themselves." (p. 80) "I never danced, knowing whatever I did with my body on a dance floor would make me stand out among the white folks." (p. 90) "...as a light-skinned Latinx woman, I often accidentally trespass into moments that are essentially displays of white power intended only for other whites. ... White people who misread me as also white sometimes display the kind of pervasive racism usually reserved for whites-only spaces. They inadvertently include me in these white power moments, ones that we aren't supposed to witness, which are perpetrated by the kind of well-meaning white folks - people who genuinely don't consider themselves racists - when they're sure we aren't around to hear them." (p. 110). Spotlighting (p. 166) Masking (p. 171) Somatic expressions of stress (p 177) Cubans and mental health (p. 187)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Elizabeth

    I did not like the content of the book but I did like the essays. We start out going to college and choosing to go to Cornell on a partial scholarship was chosen over going to University of Florida on a full scholarship. Her whole family went with her to drop off and stayed for weeks. No where in the welcome packet did it say when parents leave after drop off. Not even someone at freshman orientation telling them to leave was a clue....................... OK, I have to stop right here at the I did not like the content of the book but I did like the essays. We start out going to college and choosing to go to Cornell on a partial scholarship was chosen over going to University of Florida on a full scholarship. Her whole family went with her to drop off and stayed for weeks. No where in the welcome packet did it say when parents leave after drop off. Not even someone at freshman orientation telling them to leave was a clue....................... OK, I have to stop right here at the beginning and say, "Give me a break". Being from an Italian immigrant family myself, I am calling shenanigans. I too was the first one to go to college and wasn't even supported in my decision. Italian girls don't go to college, it will hurt her in the marriage market. (Insert eye roll). So her parents took paid vacation and could afford to offset her expenses? COME ON! Not many normal working class people can say that. I conclude her parents are from the upper class of Cuba. Must be nice. The rest of the essays are just as clueless. Having trouble fitting into life with "whites" and yet chooses and marries a whiter-than-white boy. Her complaints of finding a bilingual DJ/Band for her wedding?????????????? She had trouble finding a Spanish/English speaker? COME ON! Other observations: - Braces aren't for a lifetime, most of us had our teeth move back. - Many visits to Disney? How about I saved my own money as an adult for 1 trip. - Had trouble with her first English paper? Welcome to everyone's club. - People asked if you ever visited Cuba, when living in Miami? - EVERYONE IS FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE! - Highlighting the 2016 Presidential race? Yes we are all upset about the rise of anti-immigration and racism. You might have noticed that even people who are in the targeted groups are also part of the new rising anti-everything groups.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andrienne

    Remarkable essays written by a Cuban American and her brush with whiteness. I love the culture clash with her Cuban-born parents. Thanks to the publisher for the advance copy! Remarkable essays written by a Cuban American and her brush with “whiteness.” I love the culture clash with her Cuban-born parents. Thanks to the publisher for the advance copy!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Echo C

    So... I had to read this one after I mistakenly thought it was the subject of a book burning. Turns out that the book in question was a novel entitled Make Your Home Among Strangers by the same author. Anyway, I read this one and didnt hate it. The title is definitely the book equivalent of clickbait but once you get past it there are some particularly insightful bits in its pages. Capo Crucet discusses her experiences a first generation Cuban-American, growing up in Miami and eventually going to So... I had to read this one after I mistakenly thought it was the subject of a book burning. Turns out that the book in question was a novel entitled “Make Your Home Among Strangers” by the same author. Anyway, I read this one and didn’t hate it. The title is definitely the book equivalent of clickbait but once you get past it there are some particularly insightful bits in its pages. Capo Crucet discusses her experiences a first generation Cuban-American, growing up in Miami and eventually going to Cornell. She touches on the fact that she’s more privileged than many others but I don’t think she delved deeply enough to win over most readers. I can see a lot of people taking issue with some of her assertions. On the other hand, a few of the points she made were spot on. I could only chuckle when she recalls an encounter with a college student who ends up in tears. I don’t want to spoil it and say what happened during their exchange but it will absolutely strike a chord with every POC who reads this.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nuha

    Reading Crucet is like drinking a cup of Cafe con Leche where you are first struck by the coffee but then left with delicate strands of cinnamon and nutmeg which is to say each essay in this collection has layers of complexity that provokes internal examination and cross examination. It's an unrelenting sun boring through to the center of your soul type of essays, the ones that simultaneously make you wanna call up your sister but also stay away from home.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Throughly enjoyed this book especially its audio form as the author covers being a first generation Cuban in America (outside of Miami). These essays are witty and full of wry observations that go deep while being absolutely on point and often hilarious. The piece about weddings really made me laugh. Picking up her other works asap!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Don

    The book challenges, provokes (but not unnecessarily), and allows a reader to examine one's own life for its privileges and advantages (or lack thereof), their place in the current systemic issues facing our society, and the necessary attitude and perspective that must be adopted to take on those systemic problems. I'm glad I read this.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bookworm

    Not familiar with the author but the title grabbed my attention straight away. A parody of those titles where (the usually white) person visits an "unexplored" land or planet, etc. and writes about their time living among the "natives," I thought this would be an interesting. The author takes us through what it's like navigating the US in various spaces while being visibly non-white and not necessarily understanding the nuances of the cultural, political, societal details as such. The first Not familiar with the author but the title grabbed my attention straight away. A parody of those titles where (the usually white) person visits an "unexplored" land or planet, etc. and writes about their time living among the "natives," I thought this would be an interesting. The author takes us through what it's like navigating the US in various spaces while being visibly non-white and not necessarily understanding the nuances of the cultural, political, societal details as such. The first essay grabbed me. I could totally relate to the experiences Crucet, even if those exact ones were not my own. But I could totally see how she and her family did not know orientation was for the student, how they hung around (they had rearranged schedules, took vacation time, saved money for the hotel for the week, etc.) to settle her in. Very relateable and understandable. But my interested sort of dwindled from there. None of the other essays really kept me and I know part of it is because I'm not one for essay collections. That said, I'll bet this is for a lot of people, especially maybe younger people in college or graduating still trying to find their place in the world, etc. It wasn't for me. Library borrow was best.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This was a timely read; the book is fairly new, and the author has been in the news recently--she spoke at a Southern university and some students took exception, I guess, to her characterization of white privilege and decided burning her books was an appropriate response. ?? Well, I'm glad this copy was available to me because it was a treat--beautifully written and a marvelously well done examination of privilege and the spaces we inhabit. I plan on looking up some of her fiction.

  28. 5 out of 5

    c2 cole

    Interesting ideas on race/ethnicity in society in an easy to read format. It would be interesting to discuss the view and problems presented in the book with the author or in a mixed group. Unfortunately, that isn't likely to happen where I live.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Booktart

    An easy to read collection of essays with the main theme of the author's experience growing up Cuban, her privilege (and lack of privilege, depending on the situation), and her family. I really enjoyed this and found it enlightening as well.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Irene (Read.Rewind)

    4/4.5 Honest, insightful, even funny at time.

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