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Where Did You Sleep Last Night?
Where Did You Sleep Last Night?: A Personal History | Danzy Senna
3 posts | 4 read | 6 to read
When Danzy Senna's parents got married in 1968, they seemed poised to defy history. They were two brilliant young American writers from wildly divergent backgroundsa white woman with a blue-blood Bostonian lineage and a black man, the son of a struggling single mother and an unknown father. They married in a year that seemed to separate the past from the present; together, these two would snub the histories that divided them and embrace a radical future. When their marriage disintegrated eight years later, it was, as one friend put it, "the ugliest divorce in Boston's history"a violent, traumatic war that felt all the more heartrending given the hopeful symbolism of their union. Decades later, Senna looks back not only at her parents' divorce but beyond it, to the opposing American histories that her parents had tried so hard to overcome. On her mother's side of the family she findsin carefully preserved documentsthe chronicle of a white America both illustrious and shameful. On her father's she discovers, through fragments and shreds of evidence, a no less remarkable history. As she digs deeper into this unwritten half of the story, she reconstructs a long buried family mystery that illuminates her own childhood. In the process, she begins to understand her difficult father, the power and failure of her parents' union, and, finally, the forces of history. Where Did You Sleep Last Night? is at once a potent statement of personal identity, a challenging look at the murky waters of American ancestry, and an exploration of narrativesthe narratives we create and those we forget. Senna has given us an unforgettable testimony to the paradoxesthe pain and the prideembedded in history, family, and race.
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Senna‘s parents were an interracial marriage before it was common. As kids, Senna and her siblings were always running from their abusive father. Both very intelligent writers, her mom comes from Boston Brahmins, but her dad‘s lineage is less clear. She goes to the South to trace his roots and try to find out about her grandfather who her father never remembers meeting. Well researched and beautifully written, I really enjoyed this! #roll100

Megabooks Fun fact: Senna is Percival Everett‘s wife! 1mo
Reggie I loved her book, New People. So uncomfortable that one. 1mo
Lcsmcat This looks really good. Stacked. 1mo
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Megabooks @Reggie I have that marked as read, but I don‘t remember it. Perhaps time for a reread! 1mo
Megabooks @Lcsmcat I hope you like it! 1mo
Suet624 I alas assumed Everett was unmarried. Where the heck did I come up with that idea??? 1mo
batsy @Suet624 I came up with the idea, too. Because in my head I'm proposing to him 😂 (He's too cool and talented!) 1mo
Megabooks @Suet624 @Suet624 they‘re definitely a couple I‘d love to have at a dinner party!! (edited) 1mo
Suet624 @batsy @Megabooks “alas” was supposed to be “always” but I realized “alas” was kind of true too. 😂😂 1mo
PuddleJumper 🎉🎉 1mo
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I have been struggling with screen-time-related headaches lately, so I haven‘t been on Litsy as much as I‘d like, but I am enjoying #roll100 and finished all three of my January audiobooks and one print so far.

V excited that in February I will 🤞🏻 finally get to Hawk! I don‘t even remember getting Stranger from the Sea or what it‘s about. I‘ve tagged the #83 audiobook. It‘s by Percival Everett‘s wife, and I hope I like her as much as him!

squirrelbrain I have Hawk on my physical TBR shelf; I‘m thinking of reading it for the #authorwithasamename prompt. 2mo
Megabooks @squirrelbrain I‘m not doing the challenge with that prompt, but given the great reviews of Hawk, I‘d say go for it! 2mo
PuddleJumper Good luck! Sorry to hear about the headches, they can be so debilitating! 2mo
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Aimeesue Rick Springfield? General Hospital, Jesse's Girl Rick Springfield? Be still my beating heart! 😄 2mo
Megabooks @PuddleJumper thanks!! I‘m definitely not a fan of these headaches. 2mo
Megabooks @Aimeesue yes!! 🤩🤩 I picked it up on a daily deal but haven‘t gotten around to it yet. 2mo
Tonton Thanks for #83, I‘ll look out for it to buy or borrow! 2mo
Cinfhen Ohhh, tagged book sounds great as does the Rick Springfield!!!! Can‘t wait to hear your thoughts on those two!!!! Plus Hawk is very good. She‘s an excellent writer 2mo
Cinfhen See my above comment @squirrelbrain - it would be an awesome choice 2mo
BarbaraBB I loved H is for Hawk but it‘s a sad one. 2mo
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