Tuesday, 22 May 2018

I've Been Meaning To Tell You: A Letter To My Daughter


Author: David Chariandy
Genre: Non-Fiction
Type: Hardcover
Page: 120
Source: Publisher
Publisher: McLelland and Stewart

First Published: May 29, 2018
First Line: "Once, when you were three, we made a trip out for lunch."

Book Description from GoodReadsIn the tradition of Ta-Nehisi Coates's Between the World and Me and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, acclaimed novelist David Chariandy's latest is an intimate and profoundly beautiful meditation on the politics of race today.
When a moment of quietly ignored bigotry prompted his three-year-old daughter to ask "what happened?" David Chariandy began wondering how to discuss with his children the politics of race. A decade later, in a newly heated era of both struggle and divisions, he writes a letter to his now thirteen-year-old daughter. David is the son of Black and South Asian migrants from Trinidad, and he draws upon his personal and ancestral past, including the legacies of slavery, indenture, and immigration, as well as the experiences of growing up a visible minority within the land of one's birth. In sharing with his daughter his own story, he hopes to help cultivate within her a sense of identity and responsibility that balances the painful truths of the past and present with hopeful possibilities for the future.

My Rating: 4 stars

My Review: In I've Been Meaning To Tell You, Canadian author David Chariandy writes a letter to his thirteen-year-old daughter which addresses the issue of race and discrimination in today's world. 

This small book packs quite a punch as Chariandy, with his well-written, often poetic, prose, dives into issues about race and discrimination using his own personal history as well as the experiences of his parents (who are Trinidadian immigrants) and his extended family, over several generations. 


His writing is thought-provoking and, at times, sentimental with his love and admiration for his daughter, as a unique person in her own right, shining through. Yet even though this is a book dedicated to his daughter, Chariandy balances this personal aspect in a way that invites his readers in, making the issues and thoughts raised relevant to the rest of us.  

This wee book is a gem and will hopefully encourage much discussion making it a wonderful selection for book clubs.

Disclaimer: This Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) was generously provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 

2 comments:

Peter Gale teacher said...

Thank you for this awesome review! Looks like a good read.

Laurie @ The Baking Bookworm said...

Thank you, Peter. I’m hoping to read his previous book “Brother” soon too.

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