The In-Betweens: A Lyri­cal Memoir

  • From the Publisher
January 24, 2022

The bira­cial com­ing-of-age jour­ney of a boy from Black and Jew­ish fam­i­lies — a bril­liant, dev­as­tat­ing book.”

Res­o­nant.… Engag­ing­ly deliv­ered, can­did reflec­tions on her­itage and iden­ti­ty.” —Kirkus Reviews

The In-Betweens tells the sto­ry of a bira­cial boy becom­ing a man, all the while try­ing to find him­self, try­ing to come to terms with his white fam­i­ly, and try­ing to find his place in Amer­i­can soci­ety. A rich nar­ra­tive in the tra­di­tion of Justin Torres’s We the Ani­mals and Bryan Washington’s Memo­r­i­al, Davon Loeb’s mem­oir is rel­e­vant to the country’s cur­rent cli­mate and is part of the nec­es­sary rewrite of the nation’s nar­ra­tive and identity.

The son of a Black moth­er with deep fam­i­ly roots in Alaba­ma and a white Jew­ish man from Long Island, Loeb grows up in a Black fam­i­ly in the Pine Bar­rens of New Jer­sey as one of the few non­white chil­dren in their sub­ur­ban neigh­bor­hood. Despite his many and ongo­ing efforts to fit in, Loeb acute­ly feels his dif­fer­ence — he is sin­gled out in class dur­ing Black His­to­ry Month; his hair doesn’t con­form to the lat­est fad; coach­es and peers assume he is a tal­ent­ed ath­lete and dancer; and on the field trip to the Holo­caust Muse­um, he is the Black Jew. But all is not strug­gle. In lyri­cal vignettes, Loeb vibrant­ly depicts the free­dom, joys, and won­der of child­hood; the awk­ward­ness of teen years, first jobs, first pas­sions. Loeb tells an indi­vid­ual sto­ry uni­ver­sal­ly, and read­ers, regard­less of sub­jec­tiv­i­ty and rela­tion, will see them­selves through­out The In-Betweens.

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