The Golden Road: Notes on My Gentrification

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9780143112976: The Golden Road: Notes on My Gentrification

The true story of a remarkable young woman's struggle to find a home in the world

Caille Millner is a rising star on the literary scene. A graduate of Harvard University, she was first published at age sixteen and was recently named one of Columbia Journalism Review's Ten Young Writers on the Rise. The Golden Road is Millner's clear-eyed and transfixing memoir. From her childhood in a Latino neighborhood in San Jose, California, and coming of age in a more affluent yet quietly hostile Silicon Valley suburb to a succession of imagined promised lands-Harvard, London, post-apartheid South Africa, New York City-this is the story of Millner's search for a place where she can define herself on her own terms and live a life that matters.

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About the Author:

Caille Millner was first published at age sixteen and recently named one of Columbia Journalism Review’s Ten Young Writers on the Rise. She is the co-author of The Promise: How One Woman Made Good on her Extraordinary Pact to Send a Classroom of First Graders to College and her work also appeared in Children of the Dream: Our Own Stories of Growing Up Black In America. She’s received the Rona Jaffe Fiction Award, as well as prizes from the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts, the National Press Club and the New York Black Journalists Association. Currently on the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle, she has also written for Newsweek, Essence, The Washington Post and The Fader.

From Publishers Weekly:

For most of us," writes 27-year-old journalist Millner in her sober, disheartening memoir about upward mobility in northern California, "Harvard was our first, and possibly last opportunity to be part of a substantial black community." Millner learns early on the pitfalls of identity-seeking—"I was a natural failure by the standards of virtually every paradigm of community currently in favor in America"—and instead assumes the role of participant-observer. Whether in California, on the East Coast or in South Africa, she is painfully and sometimes humiliatingly an outsider, which also liberates her to critique. In microbiographies, she describes the people in her life: her father, a professor increasingly disillusioned by higher education; Jaime, a "Mexican-from-Mexico" who didn't know his place; George, whose class struggle reflected Millner's class privilege; Spencer, a Harvard blue blood with faux activist cred. Millner disdains upper-middle-class life and values, such as obsessive academic and monetary competition ("one of the few ways I could relax enough to eat was by using drugs"). Her style is mostly functional, with some memorable literary passages that hint at mastery to come. Given its insider approach to the many Americans who are finding identities outside their prescribed groups, her highly accessible memoir is worth the read. (Feb. 15)
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