You’re on Your Own

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Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls:  A Memoir
by T Kira Madden
Bloomsbury. 311 pages, $27.

 

BEGINNING a memoir with a mannequin may seem like an odd place to start, but the presence of “Uncle Nuke” is where T Kira Madden opens Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls, a book that takes considerable getting used to in its introduction and opening chapter. The mannequin had been fished out of a pile of department store trash and fetched home by Madden’s mother, an act that, like every other thing her mother did, was carried out with love but also “to protect me.” Her mother had figured that the “fancy, distinguished” faux gentleman might dupe outsiders into thinking she had a male roommate, when the truth was that Madden’s father had two sons and a wife in a nearby Florida neighborhood.

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Terri Schlichenmeyer is a freelance writer based in Wisconsin.

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