Mama's Child

Mama's Child

A Novel

A stunning tale about the deeply entrenched conflicts between a white mother and her biracial daughter.

Mama’s Child is story of an idealistic young white woman who travelled to the American South as a civil rights worker, fell in love with an African American man, and started a family in San Francisco, where the more liberal city embraced them—except when it didn’t. They raise a son and daughter, but the tensions surrounding them have a negative impact on their marriage, and they divorce when their children are still young. For their biracial daughter, this split further destabilizes her already challenged sense of self—“Am I black or white?” she must ask herself, “Where do I belong?” Is she her father’s daughter alone?

As the years pass, the chasm between them widens, even as the mother attempts to hold on to the emotional chord that binds them. It isn’t until the daughter, Ruby, herself becomes a wife and mother that she begins to develop compassion and understanding for the many ways that her own mother’s love transcended race and questions of identity.
Choose a format:
  • Atria Books | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451693188 | 
  • May 2013
List Price $15.00
This title is temporarily out of stock, please check back soon.

Read an Excerpt

Mama’s Child CHAPTER 1


Elizabeth

“I need to see you today,” Gladys, the New Harmony School director, growled into our answering machine. “We’ve had an incident.” Her deep voice intimated this was no ordinary farewell meeting for Ruby’s final days of sixth grade. “Looking forward—” her gravelly voice murmured, as if she hadn’t just raised my anxiety.

Solomon... see more

About the Author

Joan Steinau Lester
Irene Young

Joan Steinau Lester

Joan Steinau Lester, Ed.D., is an award-winning journalist and author of four critically acclaimed books. Her writing has appeared in many newspapers and magazines, including Essence, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Cosmopolitan. She lives in Northern California.

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