Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

A Memoir
Narrated by: T Kira Madden
Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
Categories: LGBT, LGBT Studies
4.2 out of 5 stars (456 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One of the most anticipated audiobooks of 2019.

Acclaimed literary essayist T Kira Madden's raw and redemptive debut memoir is about coming of age and reckoning with desire as a queer, biracial teenager amidst the fierce contradictions of Boca Raton, Florida, a place where she found cult-like privilege, shocking racial disparities, rampant white-collar crime and powerfully destructive standards of beauty hiding in plain sight.  

As a child, Madden lived a life of extravagance, from her exclusive private school to her equestrian trophies and designer shoe-brand name. But under the surface was a wild instability. The only child of parents continually battling drug and alcohol addictions, Madden confronted her environment alone. Facing a culture of assault and objectification, she found lifelines in the desperately loving friendships of fatherless girls.  

With unflinching honesty and lyrical prose, spanning from 1960s Hawaii to the present-day struggle of a young woman mourning the loss of a father while unearthing truths that reframe her reality, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls is equal parts eulogy and love letter. It's a story about trauma and forgiveness, about families of blood and affinity, both lost and found, unmade and rebuilt, crooked and beautiful.

©2019 T Kira Madden (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Frank and funny and powerful and surprising. An utterly gorgeous debut." (Lauren Groff) 

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Editor's Pick

Growing up on the dark side of privilege
"T Kira Madden is a certifiable badass who grew up in the sun-scorched land of 'gator infestations and amusement parks, i.e. Florida. Her dad already had another family when she was born to her Chinese-Hawaiian mother, but he eventually left to be with them—although, it seemed, never quite fully. Her uncle, Steve Madden is famous for two things: his shoe company, and his white-collar crimes as portrayed in The Wolf of Wall Street. But now the spotlight is fully on T Kira and her shiver-inducing memoir about absent parents, irresistibly kissable women, the casual cruelty of prep school kids, and the dark side of privilege. In anyone else’s hands this story would be a tell-all, but in T Kira’s hands it’s a dream just woken up from, where everything feels urgent, sensual, and a little hazy. Her voice in my ear was soft and intimate, drawing me into her world and sending chills through me. What I’m trying to say is that I LOVED it, and it’s hands-down one of my favorite memoirs of the year so far."
Rachel S., Audible Editor

What listeners say about Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting POV, Not a literary memoir.

Madden's coming of age story is interesting because all tales of children raising themselves among privelege and neglect are interesting. She keeps you reading, but never really reveals a great insight like the best memoirs. Madden goes from skipping school and doing drugs with her loving-but-wasted girlfriends, to being a grown-up writer. And she never really delineates the path she used to get there. Unlike Tara Westover's magnificent Educated, or Sarah Smarsh's powerful Heartland, Madden does not bring to life the inner grit or turning points that helped her survive and succeed after a tough childhood. The strongest part of the book is indeed the Tribe of Fatherless Girls, which appears a bit out of nowhere and then disappears abruptly - leaving the reader wanting more of the Girls and less of the skipping school and doing drugs.

36 people found this helpful

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AMERICAN FATHERS

T Kira Madden’s memoir is a non-fiction account of her life. This memoir may reach beyond America, but it rings true for many children. Madden is the child of a philandering father; mostly raised by her mother, but deeply connected to her father. Madden’s father is never far from her thoughts but frequently gone from her presence. Her journey to adulthood is difficult. Children can love their parents with “Leave it to Beaver” ideals, but in the midst of a chaotic family life, Madden shows children’s lives are scarred. Many American children are affected by parental absence, and conflict. In childhood’s journey, physical and mental abuse between parents affects a child’s view of the world. Their place in it is confused, indeterminate, and seriously affected by the way parents behave. Madden tells the story of those conflicts in her memoir. Sometimes parental absence is because of working parents. Other times, it is because of the personal lives’ parents live. In Madden’s case it is more of the former than the latter. Madden’s father works in an undisclosed profession and makes a good deal of money but is absent for long periods of time. As Madden finds later, part of her father’s absence is because of another family. He is the husband and father of a different wife and children. Women are always left with the major decisions of life when they become pregnant. Fathers can leave or stay. Women can never leave. Women stay with a decision to abort, adopt, or single-parent a yet to be born child. The reality of staying is a physical and mental trial for women; pending a life sentence. For men, if there is a sentence, it is limited to guilt and an uncertain, and frequently ignored, financial penalty. Madden shows a child can survive the worst a broken family can do and become something better. Madden’s story begs the question of how many children of single parents are unable to meet the challenges of a neglectful father, and how many of those children are life’s casualties?

15 people found this helpful

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Best book i've read in a really long time!

I loved how raw and real this book was. At points in the story, I felt like it was written about me. I loved her writing style, it was very unique and captivating. HIGHLY recommend.

9 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable if uncomfortable at times..

Madden is a good writer. Her story of growing up is uncomfortable yet enjoyable. My only issue is the last two hours gets a bit random. Madden was good for this.

6 people found this helpful

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A Window You Can’t Leave

I finish this book with a view of the generation my children are growing up in that can only be drawn by one who has experienced it. T is a beautiful child, woman, poet. I thank her.

12 people found this helpful

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loved this!

I love her honesty. She wrote from her heart and her memories. We don't get to choose our family but we do love them as they are.

5 people found this helpful

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A memoir full of life!

This is a story of circumstance and choices. Choices made, choices taken away, choices of regret, choices yet to be seen... of circumstance that can not be changed. T Kira has included her deepest secrets and families tales to illustrate a beautifully written story of a girl coming of age in a land only made for story books. This story tugs on your heart as you feel for the little girl hanging to the ankle of a mannequin. This story leaves you with hope for that little girl, hope for healing and renewed spirit. A memoir truly full of life!

10 people found this helpful

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Have voice. Important socio-emotional topics

Powerful memoir. Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls. Brave voice from T Kira Madden. Fascinating journey; queer girl coming of age into womanhood. Biracial (Chinese-American mom/Caucasian Jewish-American dad.) Important socio-emotional topics. Adept, heartfelt voice narration.

3 people found this helpful

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I don’t know if I can explain

The way in which this book touched me. T’s story telling is so lovely. As a Fatherless girl we often take on a relationship with our mothers that are both filled of endless love and terrible heartbreak. There is a line in this that poked at that very sentiment and tore me apart. I’m so very thankful T shares her story in this way.

6 people found this helpful

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Lovely

Beautiful, haunting, raw, inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story - you have made me want to write mine.

2 people found this helpful