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I'm Down: A Memoir | [Mishna Wolff]

I'm Down: A Memoir

Mishna Wolff grew up in a poor black neighborhood with her single father, a white man who truly believed he was black. "He strutted around with a short perm, a Cosby-esque sweater, gold chains and a Kangol---telling jokes like Redd Fox, and giving advice like Jesse Jackson. You couldn't tell my father he was white. Believe me, I tried," writes Wolff. And so from early childhood on, her father began his crusade to make his white daughter down.
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Publisher's Summary

Mishna Wolff grew up in a poor black neighborhood with her single father, a white man who truly believed he was black. "He strutted around with a short perm, a Cosby-esque sweater, gold chains and a Kangol - telling jokes like Redd Fox, and giving advice like Jesse Jackson. You couldn't tell my father he was white. Believe me, I tried," writes Wolff. And so from early childhood on, her father began his crusade to make his white daughter "down".

Unfortunately, Mishna didn't quite fit in with the neighborhood kids: she couldn't dance, she couldn't sing, she couldn't double dutch, and she was the worst player on her all-black basketball team. She was shy, uncool, and painfully white. And yet when she was suddenly sent to a rich white school, she found she was too "black" to fit in with her white classmates.

I'm Down is a hip, hysterical, and at the same time beautiful memoir that will have you howling with laughter, recommending it to friends and questioning what it means to be black and white in America.

©2009 Mishna Wolff; (P)2009 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Down certainly has serious thoughts on its mind...but the tone manages to be light and triumphant because of the hilarious child-goggles Wolff wears while spinning her tales." (Entertainment Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (67 )
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  •  
    TXgirl Austin, TX 03-22-10
    TXgirl Austin, TX 03-22-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great listen..."

    i found the character development was slow but overall, the book was very honest and humorous. The author has a great way of being candid throughout the book. She narrated it as well which I found refreshing...each character's personality and depiction was exactly as she wanted it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Casey Sunnyside, NY, United States 11-07-09
    Casey Sunnyside, NY, United States 11-07-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I stopped listening an hour in...."

    Why did the publishers let the author read her own book??? I have never listened to a more bored sounding narrator--and it's her own life that she sounds bored recounting! The stories in the first hour would not be interesting on paper, let alone coming from a monotone narrator.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan Plainfield, MA, United States 02-11-14
    Joan Plainfield, MA, United States 02-11-14 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    63
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "At times funny / at times sad"
    Would you consider the audio edition of I'm Down to be better than the print version?

    Not having read the print version, I can't say.


    What other book might you compare I'm Down to and why?

    Maybe the Glass Castle?


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The book is composed of lots of short scenes. Any scene with her father in it was tense and interesting.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The whole book was moving. It is funny at times and at times gut wrenching. Some of the one liners are very amusing.


    Any additional comments?

    The power of this book is it's honesty.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caro 09-04-12
    Caro 09-04-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining . . . and more"

    Engaging and funny! Then it took a few turns and became a poignant coming of age story. Overall, excellent and unique. I want to hear more from Wolff.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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