Hanging by her teeth

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Serpent's Tail, Feb 15, 1994 - Fiction - 165 pages
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A Black American woman travels through the United States and Europe in search of her lost father. In the letters she writes to him she remembers her strict Catholic childhood in Chicago, her move to bohemian New York, and her bewilderment at growing up. When she discovers Degas' painting of a young mulatto circus performer hanging by her teeth at the top of a circus tent, she makes the performer, "Miss La La," the symbol of her life. An elegant reflection on "home" and "belonging," Hanging by Her Teeth rejects the simplifications of "roots" and celebrates a tradition of Black American writers who went to Europe to find themselves. It is the first novel of an outstanding new voice in American fiction.

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This novel, which concerns a woman's search through the United States and Europe for her missing father, is written partly in the form of letters she addresses to him. Read full review


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