Photo Credit: Jac Martinez
This episode is sponsored by the Miami Book Fair International.
Content Warning: This episode includes a discussion about sexual assault. Listeners who may be triggered by hearing this part of our interview should fast forward from around the 15-minute mark to the 17-minute mark.
Before I interviewed T Kira Madden, I was a little nervous. Her memoir, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls, is outstanding. It covers her life growing up in Boca Raton, Florida in the 90s and early aughts in a well-to-do family that was dealing with serious substance abuse issues. T Kira, pronounced TEE-Kiera, also had to contend with racism as the child of a white, Jewish man and a Chinese and Hawaiian mother.
As a 12-year-old, she was sexually assaulted by two high school seniors. She also endured neglect because her parents were often too intoxicated to care for her properly. And on top of all that she faced body shaming and bullying by her classmates that led to an eating disorder and other self-destructive behavior.
It's a lot, right?
It's one thing to interview an author about his or her characters. But asking about an author's drug-addicted parents, her sexual assault and her discovering her queer identity is something else entirely. But T Kira was so cool she put me at ease, and we had a great discussion.
We covered why she says this couldn't be a tidy, tightly knit book, how she ultimately decided that revealing her family's secrets was a good thing, and why she gave her mom veto power over the whole project.
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We'll send a free, signed copy of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls to the first listener to tell us the first book that made T Kira feel seen on the page.
If you have won a ReadMore giveaway in the last 90s days, you're ineligible. If we ever did community theater together, you're probably ineligible. ReadMore does not have a friends and family plan. But we'll always have that old, haunted auditorium.
EDITED TO ADD: On March 19, Regina O. Lynn reached out to us on Twitter with the correct answer to our trivia question to receive a free, signed copy of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls.