When Danzy Senna’s parents married in 1968, they seemed poised to defy history: two beautiful young American writers from wildly divergent backgrounds—a white woman with a blue-blood Bostonian lineage and a black man, the son of a struggling single mother and an unknown father. When their marriage disintegrated eight years later, the violent, traumatic split felt all the more tragic for the hopeful symbolism it had once borne.
Decades later, Senna looks back not only at her parents’ divorce but at the histories that they had tried so hard to overcome. In the tradition of James McBride's The Color of Water, Where Did You Sleep Last Night? is "a stunningly rendered personal heritage that mirrors the complexities of race, class, and ethnicity in the United States" (Booklist).
Praise for Where Did You Sleep Last Night?
“There are stories we need to find, and stories that must be told. In this masterful work of seeking and telling, hoping and letting go, Danzy Senna stalks her ancestral past like an attorney assembling the case of a lifetime. Her closing remarks prove that as improbable as it sounds, the people of this great country we call America really are indivisible; we truly are one. This book is a great gift. Read it.”—Rebecca Walker, author of Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self
“In her courageous portrait of the tumultuous union between her Boston Brahmin mother and her enigmatic black father, Danzy Senna offers a powerfully personal take on the progress of American race relations since the civil rights movement. Where Did You Sleep Last Night? reminds us of the consequences of our origins and our inescapable desire to make sense of them.”—Bliss Broyard, author of One Drop : My Father’s Hidden Life—A Story of Race and Family Secrets
Praise for Danzy Senna
“Senna’s dynamic storytelling illuminates personal revelations that are anything but black and white.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Senna throws everything into her literary stew–ambition, love, obsession, jealousy, and race.” —Elle
Praise for Danzy Senna’s Caucasia
“Senna’s remarkable first novel [will] cling to your memory . . . Senna tells this coming of age tale with impressive beauty and power.” —Newsweek
“[An] absorbing debut novel . . . Senna superbly illustrates the emotional toll that politics and race take.” —New York Times Book Review
A Personal History