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Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble and Coming of Age in the Bronx

Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble and Coming of Age in the Bronx

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One of the best works of investigative journalism in years, 'Random Family' tells the story of growing up in the Latino ghettos of the Bronx, a story of drug-dealers, young mothers, poverty and violence, a family saga like no other. It's 1985 in the Bronx and teenagers Jessica and Coco are dating drug dealers and getting pregnant. Fifteen years later, they each have five children, Jessica is a grandmother and her drug-dealer boyfriend is serving a life sentence. Welcome to their world. Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, a prize-winning investigative journalist, has spent a decade accompanying and recording the lives of a motley crew of Latinos living in the Bronx. The result is this extraordinary portrait of love, sex and survival, one of the most riveting and highly acclaimed books of the decade.

BiographyBiography: generalPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesSocial groupsSocial classes Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication Date: 06/09/2004 ISBN-13: 9780007163434  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Adrian Nicole LeBlanc has written for the New York Times, Esquire, Village Voice and Elle. She was a non-fiction fellow at Radcliffe's Bunting Institute.

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I find the idea of listing your all-time favourite books a bit overwhelming; I’ve opted here for a mix of some I’ve recently loved and others I’ve loved a long time. I’ve been meaning to read this one for a decade. It’s described in a blurb as “A non-fiction Middlemarch of the underclass” – I don’t think I can do much better than that. Concerning a large, chaotic family in the Bronx during the 1990s, it’s an honest account of street life – from drug dealing to child-rearing. Ms LeBlanc spent ten years embedded, interviewing, living with her subjects, listening to them. An extraordinary feat of research and patience. Reading it you realize that class is a cocoon. Most of us have have absolutely zero idea how anybody else is living. I think this book is a masterpiece.

Zadie Smith - 10/08/2012


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