The Golden Road: Notes on My Gentrification

Caille Millner, Author . Penguin Press $22.95 (248p) ISBN 978-1-59420-109-7

For most of us," writes 27-year-old journalist Millner in her sober, disheartening memoir about upward mobility in northern California, "Harvard was our first, and possibly last opportunity to be part of a substantial black community." Millner learns early on the pitfalls of identity-seeking—"I was a natural failure by the standards of virtually every paradigm of community currently in favor in America"—and instead assumes the role of participant-observer. Whether in California, on the East Coast or in South Africa, she is painfully and sometimes humiliatingly an outsider, which also liberates her to critique. In microbiographies, she describes the people in her life: her father, a professor increasingly disillusioned by higher education; Jaime, a "Mexican-from-Mexico" who didn't know his place; George, whose class struggle reflected Millner's class privilege; Spencer, a Harvard blue blood with faux activist cred. Millner disdains upper-middle-class life and values, such as obsessive academic and monetary competition ("one of the few ways I could relax enough to eat was by using drugs"). Her style is mostly functional, with some memorable literary passages that hint at mastery to come. Given its insider approach to the many Americans who are finding identities outside their prescribed groups, her highly accessible memoir is worth the read. (Feb. 15)

Reviewed on: 12/18/2006
Release date: 03/01/2007
Show other formats
Paperback - 248 pages - 978-0-14-311297-6
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4295-5367-4
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 256 pages - 978-1-4295-5368-1
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.