My Time Among the Whites: Notes from an Unfinished Education

My Time Among the Whites: Notes from an Unfinished Education

From the author of Make Your Home Among Strangers, essays on being an “accidental” American—an incisive look at the edges of identity for a woman of color in a society centered on whitenessIn this sharp and candid collection of essays, critically acclaimed writer and first-generation American Jennine Capó Crucet explores the condition of finding herself a stranger in the c...

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Title:My Time Among the Whites: Notes from an Unfinished Education
Author:Jennine Capo Crucet
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My Time Among the Whites: Notes from an Unfinished Education Reviews

  • Chris Gonzalez

    This is the kind of book I wish I had around when I was a freshman in college, that might have made navigating the whiteness and white spaces a bit easier. It also would have opened my eyes to some unchecked behavior and thoughts I used to have, too. These are incredibly strong and compelling essays with a touch of humor that speak to today.

  • Andrienne

    Remarkable essays written by a Cuban American and her brush with “whiteness.” I love the culture clash with her Cuban-born parents.

    Thanks to the publisher for the advance copy!

  • Susanne

    Thank you to Macmillan-Picador and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

    Beautiful, intimate prose that deeply touched me - I am not a POC, but grew up a foreigner and cultural outsider in the US, raised by parents that were in many instances clueless about what that meant for me as their (oldest) child. The remarkable openness with which the author reflects on her upbringing, what shaped her, and the mindsets she encounters is in turn hilariously funny, touchingly vulnerable, ac

    Thank you to Macmillan-Picador and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

    Beautiful, intimate prose that deeply touched me - I am not a POC, but grew up a foreigner and cultural outsider in the US, raised by parents that were in many instances clueless about what that meant for me as their (oldest) child. The remarkable openness with which the author reflects on her upbringing, what shaped her, and the mindsets she encounters is in turn hilariously funny, touchingly vulnerable, achingly familiar, and a challenge to those that do not need to contend with being obviously an outsider.

    Highly recommended!

  • c2 cole

    Interesting ideas on race/ethnicity in society in an easy to read format. It would be interesting to discuss the view and problems presented in the book with the author or in a mixed group. Unfortunately, that isn't likely to happen where I live.

  • Beck

    I loved this book of essays. The daughter of Cuban refugees, Crucet writes about her relationships with her family, whiteness and white supremacy, being a first gen college student, working in academia, and the consequences of sexual violence. I especially liked reading about her lifetime adoration of Disney World (and the consequences of buying into the fantasy), as well as her essay on trying to account for both Cuban and white cultural mores while wedding planning (and her subsequent wedding

    I loved this book of essays. The daughter of Cuban refugees, Crucet writes about her relationships with her family, whiteness and white supremacy, being a first gen college student, working in academia, and the consequences of sexual violence. I especially liked reading about her lifetime adoration of Disney World (and the consequences of buying into the fantasy), as well as her essay on trying to account for both Cuban and white cultural mores while wedding planning (and her subsequent wedding crashing habit after moving into an apartment building that doubles as a wedding venue). Her essay on her parents naming her after a Miss America runner up was wonderful as well. Highly recommended.

    Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the advanced copy!

  • Nancy

    is a collection of essays about white spaces, family, and etc. These essays are extremely beautiful. I would read one essay and would have to just take a moment to take it in because it reminded me so much of my mother and my childhood. I honestly was not prepared for how much I would relate to this book and cry.

    All of the essays will always stay with me, but the one that personally stood out to me was about how

    is a collection of essays about white spaces, family, and etc. These essays are extremely beautiful. I would read one essay and would have to just take a moment to take it in because it reminded me so much of my mother and my childhood. I honestly was not prepared for how much I would relate to this book and cry.

    All of the essays will always stay with me, but the one that personally stood out to me was about how her parents chose her name. I say that because not only is it so emotional but extremely hilarious too. It’s a book that I will probably read again because I really saw myself in these essays. I cannot wait for the next book that Jennine writes. This book was a 11/10 and I recommend everyone read this book.

    *I received an advance review copy of

    from the publisher through NetGalley; all opinions are my own.

  • Nicky

    I meant to savor this book and read it over the course of several days, but Crucet is so thoughtful and hilarious I ended up reading it in one sitting. (Though I will definitely be revisiting.)

    Also, full disclosure, I’m a Cuban-American who grew up in Hialeah and went to the northeast for college, then got my MFA in fiction, so I’ve been counting down the days til publication for this one. I cried a lot. I wish this book had been in the world years ago, and I’m so glad it is now.

  • Lianne

    This collection of essays was really great. Jennine Capo Crucet writes in a very conversational way -- like she is telling you a story or answering a question: What was your first year of college like? How was your move to Nebraska? How do you like being a professor? -- and once you're hooked, she opens up the story with nuance and depth to explore issues of race, ethnicity, and being a first-generation Cuban-American. I saw her on a panel with Mira Jacob at the Decatur Book Festival, and the ti

    This collection of essays was really great. Jennine Capo Crucet writes in a very conversational way -- like she is telling you a story or answering a question: What was your first year of college like? How was your move to Nebraska? How do you like being a professor? -- and once you're hooked, she opens up the story with nuance and depth to explore issues of race, ethnicity, and being a first-generation Cuban-American. I saw her on a panel with Mira Jacob at the Decatur Book Festival, and the title of the panel was something about getting into deep experiences through humor. She definitely did that in this collection. It's incredibly timely and I highly recommend it.

  • La'Tonya Rease Miles

    Using Chekhov's Gun

    There's an old saying often (misattributed to Shakespeare) that writers should never show a gun in the first act that isn't fired by the final act. Or something like that. In other words, don't bother giving a detail or introducing a theme unless you plan to do something with it later. Otherwise, you are just navel gazing and being kind of a show off.

    Crucet takes this advice to heart making these collection of essays feel like parts of a greater whole. She introduces herself a

    Using Chekhov's Gun

    There's an old saying often (misattributed to Shakespeare) that writers should never show a gun in the first act that isn't fired by the final act. Or something like that. In other words, don't bother giving a detail or introducing a theme unless you plan to do something with it later. Otherwise, you are just navel gazing and being kind of a show off.

    Crucet takes this advice to heart making these collection of essays feel like parts of a greater whole. She introduces herself as a first-generation college student right at the beginning. Describing what is was like for her family to come (and stay) with her throughout new student orientation although at Cornell from Florida. And from there she moves on to other themes that on first pass may seem only tangentially related, but close readers will see that the author's identity as "first-gen" (to college and to the US) drives everything that comes afterwards. Crucet writes in the tradition of Laura Rendon who acknowledges both the blessings and the curses of being first in the family to go to college (unlike Richard Rodriguez who only writes about the burdens). And yet, as the author confesses, many things come with a price. (Paying a price is another theme that comes up later, unexpectedly and heartbreakingly). She is not quite sure if she made the right decision to attend Cornell instead of taking the "free ride" at the University of Florida. She leaves that to the reader to decide.

    It's a tough call, but I think my favorite section is "Say I Do," especially when she discusses the nuances of wedding DJs in Miami. It was reminiscent of a Richard Blanco's storytelling (he's also name checked here!) and just downright hilarious. I think the people next to me on the plane thought I was crazy.

    There's tons more I can say, but I will let other folks discover them. I can't wait to read more from this writer.

  • Emma

    A very good collection of essays written by Jennine Capo Crucet, which made me realize how much I didn't know about Cuban-Americans.

    She mostly (but not only) explores how it took her to actually leave Miami (and go live in Nebraska of all places) to realize she had pretty much always thought of herself as white, being fair skinned and Cubans being so plentiful in her area. Living in a very very white part of the country sadly taught her she was seen as "other" by way too many people.

    Another thin

    A very good collection of essays written by Jennine Capo Crucet, which made me realize how much I didn't know about Cuban-Americans.

    She mostly (but not only) explores how it took her to actually leave Miami (and go live in Nebraska of all places) to realize she had pretty much always thought of herself as white, being fair skinned and Cubans being so plentiful in her area. Living in a very very white part of the country sadly taught her she was seen as "other" by way too many people.

    Another thing I liked in

    is how Crucet's love for books and literature shines throughout the whole book.

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