"My big brother Bernard took great pains to learn how to talk Black."
"'My father is black and my mother is white and my brother is a vegetable.' When Emma Boudreaux's older brother, Bernie, winds up in a coma after a freak accident, it's as if she loses a part of herself. All their lives, he has served as her compass, her stronger, better half: Bernie was brilliant when Emma was smart, charismatic when she was awkward, and confident when she was shy. Only Bernie was able to navigate-if not always diplomatically-the terrain of their biracial identity. Now, as the chronic rash that's flared up throughout her life returns with a vengeance, Emma is sleepwalking through her first year at college, left alone to grow into herself.
The key to Emma's self-discovery lies in her father's past. Esteemed Princeton professor Bernard Boudreaux is emotionally absent and secretive about his family history. Little does Emma know just how haunted that history is, how tortured the path from the Deep South town to his present Ivy League success has been. Though her father and brother are bound by the past, Emma might just escape.
In exhilarating, magical prose, The Professor's Daughter traces the borderlands of race and family, the contested territory that gives birth to rage, confusion, madness, and invisibility. This striking debut marks the arrival of an astonishingly original voice that surges with energy and purpose." -- from the back cover
This was a very good book about finding one's identity despite others' wish to define it themselves. I liked how Raboteau showed the world from both Emma's and her father's point of view.
Date read: 1/30/2010
Book #: 7
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
# of pages: 276
Binding: Trade Paperback (ARC)