Guidebook to Relative Strangers
Guidebook to Relative Strangers
Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History
Camille T. Dungy



An award-winning African American poet debuts in prose with a stunningly graceful and honest exploration of race, motherhood, and history.

As a working mother whose livelihood as a poet-lecturer depended on travel, Camille Dungy crisscrossed America with her infant, then toddler, intensely aware of how they are seen, not just as mother and child, but as black women. With a poet's eye, she celebrates her daughter’s acquisition of language and discoveries of the natural and human world around her. At the same time history shadows her steps everywhere she goes: from the San Francisco of settlers’ and investors’ dreams to the slave-trading ports of Ghana; from snow-white Maine to a festive, yet threatening, bonfire in the Virginia pinewoods.

With exceptional candor and grace, Dungy explores our inner and outer worlds―the intimate and vulnerable experiences of raising a child, living with illness, conversing with strangers, and counting on others’ goodwill. Across the nation, she finds fear and trauma, and also mercy, kindness, and community. Penetrating and generous, Guidebook to Relative Strangers is an essential guide for a troubled land.

Title Guidebook to Relative Strangers
Subtitle Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History
Author Camille T. Dungy
Publisher W. W. Norton
Title First Published 13 June 2017
Format Hardcover
Nb of pages 256 p.
ISBN-10 0393253759
ISBN-13 9780393253757
Publication Date 13 June 2017
Main content page count 256
Weight 32 oz.