“Julie Lythcott-Haims has written a deeply affecting memoir about growing up biracial. It’s poetic and candid, and it dives into discussions we really ought to be having about race in America—past, present, and future.”
—Heidi Stevens, Chicago Tribune
Bringing a poetic sensibility to her prose to stunning effect, Julie Lythcott-Haims briskly and stirringly evokes her personal battle with the low self-esteem that American racism routinely inflicts on people of color. The only child of a marriage between an African-American father and a white British mother, she shows indelibly how so-called “micro” aggressions in addition to blunt force insults can puncture a person’s inner life with a thousand sharp cuts. Real American expresses also, through Lythcott-Haims’s path to self-acceptance, the healing power of community in overcoming the hurtful isolation of being incessantly considered “the other.” The author of the New York Times bestselling anti-helicopter parenting manifesto How to Raise an Adult, Lythcott-Haims has written a different sort of book this time out, but one that will nevertheless resonate with the legions of students, educators and parents to whom she is now well-known, by whom she is beloved, and to whom she has always provided wise and necessary counsel about how to embrace and nurture their best selves. Real American is an affecting memoir, an unforgettable cri de coeur, and a clarion call to all of us to live more wisely, generously and fully.
Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult, served as dean of freshmen and undergraduate advising at Stanford University, where she received the Dinkelspiel Award for her contributions to the undergraduate experience. She holds a B.A. from Stanford, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an M.F.A. in writing from California College of the Arts. She is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, and resides in the Bay Area with her husband, their two children, and her mother.
Real American has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:
Atlanta Metropolitan State College, and Bates College (ME)
Beyond the Book
Watch the book trailer for Real American:
Watch Julie Lythcott-Haims’s TED Talk:
Listen to an excerpt from the audiobook!