FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. Explores the complications of race through the story of two daughters--one light-skinned and the other dark-skinned--of a black father and a white mother, who are divided by racial allegiances.
A young girl learns some difficult lessons in Danzy Senna's debut novel Caucasia
. Growing up in a biracial family in 1970s Boston, Birdie has seen her family disintegrate due to the increasing racial tensions. Her father and older sister move to Brazil, where they hope to find true racial equality, while Birdie and her mother drift through the country, eventually adopting new identities (Sheila and Jesse Goldman) and settling in a small New Hampshire town.
Birdie/Jesse tries to find her niche in this new world of eye shadow and gossip and boys, but she also wants to remain true to herself and find a common ground between her white and black heritage. She sets out to find her sister and reconnect with that part of her that has been lost for so long; the search takes her far from the settled, safe life she had in New Hampshire to a far more ambiguous, and unsettled, existence, one in which her own definitions of herself become muddled, and her search for her sister leads ultimately to a search for her own true identity.