In Caucasia—Danzy Senna’s extraordinary debut novel and national bestseller— Birdie and Cole are the daughters of a black father and a white mother. Look out for Danzy Senna’s latest book, New People, on sale in August! Birdie and Cole are the daughters of a black father and a white mother, intellectuals. Maya Jaggi on Danzy Senna’s parable of race, From Caucasia, With Love.

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Read with open eyes, not closed minds. When Birdie and Cole attend the same school, one where the majority of students are black, Birdie is criticized for looking too white, and must struggle with the expectations sennaa to her as a black girl who isn’t black enough. Which sister seems to have become more like Deck, and which more like Sandy?

Danzy Senna – Wikipedia

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Running to New Hampshire with Birdie not only allowed her to run from this imagined political threat, but allowed Sandy to restart her life as a white woman. Views Read Edit View history. Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. From that point forward she is Jesse Goldman, and wears a Star of David around her neck to “pass” as Jewish instead of black. Want to Read saving…. When her parents decide to split-up, Birdie leaves town with her paranoid mother who snena an entirely new Jewish identity for Birdie.

Their father and his new girlfriend take Cole with them to Brazil, and Birdie goes on the lam with their mother, living on the road for a few years before settling down in rural New Hampshire.


Caucasia Reader’s Guide

It’s always interesting to read stories like this one that help me see the world through an entirely different lens. We all wear one.

Birdie is the youngest daughter of Deck Lee, a Harvard-educated Black intellectual, and Sandy Lodge Lee, a white activist descended from blue bloods. It is simply one hell of a read.

Apr 22, Jess rated it it was amazing Shelves: Caucasia is a compelling and nuanced coming-of-age story about race, identity and family amid the backdrop of ss America. The sisters are close and yet their experiences are different, they will slip in and out of identites only to come back to who they always were, a mix of everything that came before sena that unique aspect that makes them themsemves.

But one can just as accurately say that illusion of race creates unnecessary absurdity in our lives. Those are the facts. Her parents’ marriage falls apart; Birdie and her sister are sent to “Nkrumah, The Black power school. The introductory part of the plot is intriguing and I enjoyed learning about the main character and her unique background.

In this debut novel of Danzy Sennashe explores all five, without the goal of solving their complexities, but understanding them better.

In general, Senna’s Caucasia received positive reviews that praised the author’s writing, themes and innovations that reinvent of the “tragic mulatto” genre. She longs for her sister Cole and their father, ultimately running away from home to find them. From Caucasia with Love. No trivia or quizzes yet. Cole and Birdie are held to different beauty standards throughout the novel due to their differing appearances, specifically because Cole appears to be more black and Birdie appears to be more white.


I don’t want to give the story away but it’s monumental and you will be emotionally involved in this book. No daughter of his is going to pass. As Birdie is forced to “pass” – she longs for her sister and the way she believes things used to be.

All the above are reasons why a book czucasia a classic, it stands out as not just a good read but an important piece of art with something to say about the human experience. The rest of society judges them on appearance, for Birdie appears white and her older sister Cole appears to be black. It is not until she finally tracks down Cole in California that her fractured identity seems complete.

She holds an M. Masterfully crafted vehicle for looking honestly at culture and race. Cole, with her dark skin, fits in with the other girls at their all-black school, while Birdie is light-skinned enough to “pass” as white.

You just switched yours at some point”. Is Birdie a canary in the coal mine?

One night Birdie watches her father and his girlfriend drive away with Cole-they have gone to Brazil, she caucaia later learn, where her father hopes for a racial equality he will never find in the States.