AUTHOR: Barack Obama
NO OF CHAPTERS: 3
Barack Obama was the first American black president; authored this book long before he had thought of any political career.
This book is about a guy who is determined to learn about his father’s life and tries to reconcile his divided inheritance. The book not only illuminates his journey but also our universal desire to understand our history and what makes us the people who we are.
At the age of 21 through a phone call from Nairobi, Kenya, he’s informed about the accidental death of his father. This forces him to walk down the memory lane for a person about whom he knew only through the stories from his maternal grand parents.Those stories as he mentions were compact, apocryphal or sometimes told in a rapid succession and then packed for years in the memory of his family.
The author talks about his parents unexpected marriage and then their separation. He also talks about his stepfather who had a very promising role in defining his personality. This marriage too didn’t last longer.
After completing his education, he worked as a community organiser in Chicago where he learnt, how to work under pressure even if you are a miscegenated one. He learns that instead of moving away from his father’s reality he should explore him. With this mindset he visits Kenya, his father’s hometown at the age of 30.He met with his half siblings and came across different aspects of his father’s life.He writes,
“although he doesn’t say anything to me, he is here asking me to understand.”
This book left me in confusion because at one point he said his father is dead and then at other point he sees him in jail.
Chapter 2 is labelled as Chicago but he is still in New York for more than 1,3 of the chapter.
Overall it’s an excellent memoir and the best one I have read so far because it speaks to all communities, all races and all families. I liked the lucid nature of writing, freshness and honesty shown by the author in explaining various aspects of his life.
Recommendation: A must read for anyone interested in memoirs.
Review by @gdfellow_yellow