Imatge de l'autor

Kaitlyn Greenidge

Autor/a de Libertie

3+ obres 995 Membres 65 Ressenyes

Obres de Kaitlyn Greenidge

Libertie (2021) 654 exemplars
We Love You, Charlie Freeman (2016) 339 exemplars
Sam Moyer (2023) 2 exemplars

Obres associades

Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves (2018) — Col·laborador — 373 exemplars
Passing [Norton Critical Edition] (1929) — Introducció, algunes edicions240 exemplars
The Best American Essays 2022 (2022) — Col·laborador — 55 exemplars
Indelible in the Hippocampus: Writings from the Me Too Movement (2019) — Col·laborador — 28 exemplars


Coneixement comú

País (per posar en el mapa)
Lloc de naixement
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Llocs de residència
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Hunter College (MFA)



I don't get a whole host of motivations for why characters in this novel did what they did.
lelandleslie | Hi ha 30 ressenyes més | Feb 24, 2024 |
Looking back for my review of Greenidge’s debut from a few years ago, I find that it says in its fulsome entirety: “I don't get a whole host of motivations for why characters in this novel did what they did.” In her second novel, once again there is a main character whose actions and motivations tend to be rather opaque, but this time I found myself largely enjoying the journey. Certainly the lack of chimpanzees in this story helped (I’m an inveterate opponent of monkeys/chimps/apes in novels, from bitter experience…) but more than that this one has an interesting raison d'être.

Libertie is born in New York in the years approaching the Civil War to a mother who is a freeborn African-American doctor and part of the Underground Railroad. Her father died before she was born and she was named for his great wish, that black people in America would build their own flourishing country, free of America and its racial oppression. Libertie’s mother herself believes in standing firm in America and claiming their rightful part in it, and raises Libertie to follow in her footsteps of care and healing of others.

That’s about the first third of the novel, which is fairly good. The next third follows Libertie to an incipient HBCU to get her degree. This part dragged for me and I was losing interest, mirroring Libertie herself who had little interest in her courses. When the novel moves into its final third, I could at least appreciate however how this middle part sets up the last.

Libertie returns home, meets, and quickly marries a young man from Haiti who has come to study under her mother. They leave for Haiti, where Emmanuel has a dream similar to that of Libertie’s father, much to her mother’s despondent dismay.

Really, however, Libertie is flailing. She doesn’t want any of the roles assigned to her by others in their dreams - her mother’s dream of her being a doctor, Emmanuel’s dream of her being a helper by his side in his building up of Haiti. Unfortunately she doesn’t know what she DOES want either, other than being her own person, but she doesn’t know how to achieve that so does some rather unwise things. Which many of us can surely identify with if we recall our own youth!

Ultimately I think Greenidge is writing a novel about the struggle of African-American women to find their own freedom, their own liberty, to become all that they can be and wish to be. It’s a struggle not only with the world outside the African-American community but also within it. She’s used the frame of the historical novel and I enjoyed the touches this enabled, like learning about the 1863 NYC draft riots and learning some Haitian Kreyole. The novel ends on a surprising note, Libertie taking another somewhat drastic and perhaps unwise decision… or is it? The novel won’t tell us what comes from it, leaving us instead to consider what Libertie continues to flee from, and what she is searching for.
… (més)
lelandleslie | Hi ha 33 ressenyes més | Feb 24, 2024 |
Beautiful and lyrical and disturbing. I both really enjoyed this and also felt totally icky while reading, on a few different levels. I just fell into this book and didn't really come up for air til it was over.
ooh_food | Hi ha 30 ressenyes més | Mar 8, 2023 |
What started out as an interesting historical fiction account of a black woman doctor as told by her daughter, ended up becoming a long, drawn-out, rebellious identity crisis that comes to a blunt and unsatisfying conclusion. The storytelling was there, but the plot tended to wander without ambition and no apparent objection. All the components needed to create a compelling narrative were there: fascinating characters, a time period ripe with potential, and an entire “lifetime” to play out on the page. Numerous experiences were glossed over that, if expounded upon, could have enriched the storyline, instead drawing out the more dull moments and adding miscellany that could have been omitted.

The synopsis held so much promise but did not deliver.

Algonquin Books gifted me an advanced copy of this book. The opinions are my own.
… (més)
LiteraryGadd | Hi ha 33 ressenyes més | Jan 16, 2023 |



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½ 3.7

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