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Who’s Your Daddy?, a hybrid memoir combining poetry and creative nonfiction, is a meditation on paternal absences, intergenerational trauma, and toxic masculinity. Who’s Your Daddy? asks us to consider how the relationships we are born into can govern us, even through absence, and shape the dynamics we find and forge as we grow. White lyrically moves across distance and ti Who’s Your Daddy?, a hybrid memoir combining poetry and creative nonfiction, is a meditation on paternal absences, intergenerational trauma, and toxic masculinity. Who’s Your Daddy? asks us to consider how the relationships we are born into can govern us, even through absence, and shape the dynamics we find and forge as we grow. White lyrically moves across distance and time, from Brooklyn to California to Guyana. Her book enacts rituals that plumb the interior reaches of the heart to assemble disconnected and estranged parts into something whole, tender, and strong.


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Who’s Your Daddy?, a hybrid memoir combining poetry and creative nonfiction, is a meditation on paternal absences, intergenerational trauma, and toxic masculinity. Who’s Your Daddy? asks us to consider how the relationships we are born into can govern us, even through absence, and shape the dynamics we find and forge as we grow. White lyrically moves across distance and ti Who’s Your Daddy?, a hybrid memoir combining poetry and creative nonfiction, is a meditation on paternal absences, intergenerational trauma, and toxic masculinity. Who’s Your Daddy? asks us to consider how the relationships we are born into can govern us, even through absence, and shape the dynamics we find and forge as we grow. White lyrically moves across distance and time, from Brooklyn to California to Guyana. Her book enacts rituals that plumb the interior reaches of the heart to assemble disconnected and estranged parts into something whole, tender, and strong.

38 review for Who's Your Daddy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Happy Booker

    Who’s your daddy is a lyrical genre-bending coming-of-age tale featuring a young, queer, black Guyanese American woman who, while seeking to define her own place in the world, negotiates an estranged relationship with her father. The book is a hybrid memoir and discusses a broad subject line of the author growing up. Her absent father, spiritual condition, dreams, love, and life are carefully written and told in this book. The literature is well written and thought out. The work is collaborative, Who’s your daddy is a lyrical genre-bending coming-of-age tale featuring a young, queer, black Guyanese American woman who, while seeking to define her own place in the world, negotiates an estranged relationship with her father. The book is a hybrid memoir and discusses a broad subject line of the author growing up. Her absent father, spiritual condition, dreams, love, and life are carefully written and told in this book. The literature is well written and thought out. The work is collaborative, interactive, and offers a truthful insight into the author’s intimate daily living and compassion. I enjoyed reading this book. It made me go through many emotional stages. I felt empathy for the times where the author was going through hardship. Most of them did not need to have happened in the first place. There are many memoirs out there. They are meant to tell a tale, and this one was in a poetic form, which made it different from all the other biographies. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read memoirs.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Luanne Castle

    This hybrid is specifically memoir, but Who’s Your Daddy? shapes itself as a prose (and lyric) poem collection. I don’t know why we don’t have more books available to us that are a long narrative told in poetry. They are rare and yet so compelling, perhaps because poem series elicit more complex mixtures of emotions from readers than linear traditional memoirs do. What attracted me to the book before I read it was the feeling of connection (my memoir-in-progress has to do with my father’s estran This hybrid is specifically memoir, but Who’s Your Daddy? shapes itself as a prose (and lyric) poem collection. I don’t know why we don’t have more books available to us that are a long narrative told in poetry. They are rare and yet so compelling, perhaps because poem series elicit more complex mixtures of emotions from readers than linear traditional memoirs do. What attracted me to the book before I read it was the feeling of connection (my memoir-in-progress has to do with my father’s estranged relationship with his father) and the ping of curiosity about White’s life as a “young, queer, black Guyanese[-] American woman” since I fit only one of those descriptives. From the first page I was captivated by the story. In the first section, the writing is succinct with a smattering of specifics that bring White’s childhood to life. She imagines or fills in what she can’t remember—the ride to the hospital for her birth, what life was like in the first few years. She grows up without her father, Gerald, a married man. She does experience love from her mother and her uncles, but life is still difficult. The book skips ahead to White at the time of her post-graduate studies. She has difficulties with relationships, but manages to forge one with Mondayway. White feels there is something missing. Halfway through the book, she realizes she has been running from something. Deep breaths open my tight chest, and I feel how running has taken more than given. I rub my heart with the heel of my palm, and my heart stays voicing, Find your father Find what’s missing there Find what is enough Find yourself whole Forgive and be forgiven In the second half of the story, White tries to get to know her father. He has been deported back to Guyana from the U.S. for participation in a crime. White and Mondayway visit Guyana to spend time with Gerald, but also to get to know White’s roots. Her movement toward acceptance and growth is a bit back and forth which feels realistic and painful. Again, powerful words that mark another epiphany are set apart from the prose poem form: I got her back, who I abandoned in his going. And, Yes, she is enough. Arisa is enough. She doesn’t need her fantasy of a father to fulfill her identity. There is so much I could write about this book, but I just want to give you an idea of why you would want to read it. The prose poems are short. The organization is helpful, as are the brief Guyanese proverbs and quotes from thinkers. I found references to even an old standby like the Bible and Shakespeare or Eliot (the pearls that are his eyes from The Tempest or The Waste Land—I wasn’t sure which one she was referencing, maybe both). But much of the book is punctuated with more contemporary thinking, such as the context of toxic masculinity. Gerald is a tragic example of that phenomenon. In fact, near the end of the book I realized that I can’t stand Gerald. I was willing to try to get to know him “while” Arisa did, but when he continued to do harm to her through his selfishness and misogyny, I could no longer try to tolerate him. The book can be read in two sittings, but you will want to mark passages and go back to them. You will be thinking about Arisa White’s story for days afterward.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dai Guerra

    This review was a little difficult to write as this type of story telling is one that I had not read before. I have read memoirs in the past but I had not read one that used the methods that this book has used. I really liked the way that this book makes you think about how relationships dictate so many aspects of our lives as we watch relationships change the narrative in this memoir. Something that I really like about the way that this story is being told is how it feels like a conversation wi This review was a little difficult to write as this type of story telling is one that I had not read before. I have read memoirs in the past but I had not read one that used the methods that this book has used. I really liked the way that this book makes you think about how relationships dictate so many aspects of our lives as we watch relationships change the narrative in this memoir. Something that I really like about the way that this story is being told is how it feels like a conversation with someone. This memoir feels like the narrator is sitting down to tell you this story which made it so that this story felt a lot more relatable. There is one main character throughout this book even as she talks about others that come along in her journey. The main character is the same person who is narrating this story and it was nice to be able to connect to the story teller in a different method. I really enjoyed how each poem is kept on a separate page so that the story flows really well. I thought that the choice to have a portion of the first sentence in bold was a great way to give you a glance at what the focus of this poem was going to be. I thought that this was an interesting way to write a memoir and really liked the way that poetry was combined with creative nonfiction. I recommend this to those of you who enjoy reading memoirs and may want a new way of reading them.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    The Review This was a truly powerful and moving read. The author takes readers on an emotional journey through her life, yet captures the important moments through some incredibly captivating prose and poetry. The journey for the author to learn more about her father and subsequently herself was felt in every passage and every page of this book. The author’s way of writing is not only inviting and engaging with the reader but feels like a natural conversation throughout a lot of this book. Readers The Review This was a truly powerful and moving read. The author takes readers on an emotional journey through her life, yet captures the important moments through some incredibly captivating prose and poetry. The journey for the author to learn more about her father and subsequently herself was felt in every passage and every page of this book. The author’s way of writing is not only inviting and engaging with the reader but feels like a natural conversation throughout a lot of this book. Readers can really get a sense of the author’s life as a young, queer, black-Guyanese/American woman through some intimate and personal passages that speak of many hardships the author and so many others have had to endure. From the childhood, the author lived in the United States to the journey to find an absent father and even having to hide who she is while in a nation that condemns those who don’t love the people that the nation says they should love, this book packs a lot of important topics and themes into such a short read, yet still makes for a powerful impact. The Verdict A must-read memoir and poetry book, author Arisa White’s “Who’s Your Daddy” is memorable, impactful, and heartfelt all at once. An insightful look into the journey to discover the author’s past, their parentage, and who they are, readers will not be able to put this book down and will be returning to it long after they have finished reading it. Be sure to grab your copy today!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Christiana McClain

    This book is definitely on the lyrical side even as it is both poetry & memoir. It forces you to surrender to the story. For those who have a difficult relationship with father/fatherhood it could be a triggering read. I think it’s a book that deals with abandonment, memory, queer relationships, and parenthood in an intimate and unwavering way.

  6. 5 out of 5

    James

    Gorgeous and essential; one of the best, most direct and powerful memoirs in poetry

  7. 4 out of 5

    Myra Subia

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joe Pan

  9. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Abi-Karam

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alison-Joan

  12. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  13. 4 out of 5

    Serena

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dana

  15. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

  16. 5 out of 5

    Julyjuly

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

  18. 5 out of 5

    Peace

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jake Campbell

  20. 5 out of 5

    lacy

  21. 5 out of 5

    Julie

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ching-In

  23. 5 out of 5

    Spencer Hendrixson

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marcques Houston

  25. 5 out of 5

    Julie

  26. 5 out of 5

    Xoch Rodríguez

  27. 5 out of 5

    Book Mitch

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kendra

  29. 5 out of 5

    Christi Acosta

  30. 5 out of 5

    Masha Rotfeld

  31. 4 out of 5

    Scarlett Peterson

  32. 4 out of 5

    Cari Balbo

  33. 5 out of 5

    Em Gates

  34. 5 out of 5

    Kate Bunting

  35. 5 out of 5

    Zuri

  36. 5 out of 5

    Maxine Bailey

  37. 4 out of 5

    Ariya

  38. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Jackson Berry

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