Like One of the Family: Conversations from a Domestic's Life (Paperback)

Like One of the Family: Conversations from a Domestic's Life By Alice Childress, Roxane Gay (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Alice Childress, Roxane Gay (Foreword by)
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Recommended by Entertainment Weekly

The hilarious, uncompromising novel about African American domestic workers—from a trailblazer in Black women’s literature and now featuring a foreword by Roxane Gay

First published in Paul Robeson’s newspaper, Freedom, and composed of a series of conversations between Mildred, a black domestic, and her friend Marge, Like One of the Family is a wry, incisive portrait of working women in Harlem in the 1950s. Rippling with satire and humor, Mildred’s outspoken accounts vividly capture her white employers’ complacency and condescension—and their startled reactions to a maid who speaks her mind and refuses to exchange dignity for pay.

Upon publication the book sparked a critique of working conditions, laying the groundwork for the contemporary domestic worker movement. Although she was critically praised, Childress’s uncompromising politics and unflinching depictions of racism, classism, and sexism relegated her to the fringe of American literature. Like One of the Family has been long overlooked, but this new edition, featuring a foreword by best-selling author Roxane Gay, will introduce Childress to a new generation.

About the Author

Alice Childress (1916–1994) was a playwright, novelist, and actress. Born in Charleston, South Carolina, and raised and educated in Harlem, she is the author of numerous plays, including Wedding Band, Wine in the Wilderness, and the Obie Award–winning Trouble in Mind—as well as books for young adults, such as Rainbow Jordan and A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ but a Sandwich.

Roxane Gay’s writing has appeared in publications including the New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, Time, and Los Angeles Times. She is also the author of the books Ayiti, An Untamed State, and the New York Times best seller Bad Feminist. Her latest book, Hunger, is forthcoming from Harper in 2016.

Praise For…

“A novel that proves that humor can be the deadliest of weapons...If power were based on worth, Mildred would be running the nation, not cleaning someone else’s house.”
Women’s Review of Books
Product Details
ISBN: 9780807050743
ISBN-10: 0807050741
Publisher: Beacon Press
Publication Date: January 24th, 2017
Pages: 264
Language: English