not at all what I expected

filled star filled star filled star star unfilled star unfilled
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*reviewed from uncorrected ARC courtesy of publisher via BookishFirst*

nonfiction/autobiographical essays - Mixed race artist/poet/writer (mother was white, father was half Chinese and half mixed white/Black) contemplates her existence through meditation and occasionally tells entertaining stories.

I enjoyed some of this book but other parts not so much--I liked the storytelling in the prologue and the various memories and stories about the author's dad and family. I didn't care as much for the descriptions of the author's meditative dreams, and though I could kind of understand what she was talking about, I found it hard to relate to her philosophical discussions of being "in the wasteland." The things that would have made her relatable--grief, remembering her parents, being a mother/wife/daughter while trying to deal with these other things, etc., weren't really discussed in a real way for me.

I do think the author is very smart, as is the rest of her family, and that she has a lot to contribute (her artwork in the full-color preview that I saw is really lovely), but the text as a whole just wasn't working for me. I would suggest cutting most of the philosophizing bits out (poetic meditations put me to sleep, and not in a good way), or editing it down and hiding it into a preface or something that readers can just skip so that they can make it past page 12 without being sorely tempted to DNF.