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Short Synopsis
In a dramatic, moving work of historical reporting and personal discovery, award-winning journalist Mark Whitaker sets out to trace the story of what happened to his parents, a fascinating but star-crossed interracial couple, and arrives at a new understanding of the family dramas that shaped their lives—and his own.

Full Synopsis
Mark Whitaker's father, "Syl" Whitaker, was the charismatic grandson of slaves who grew up the child of black undertakers from Pittsburgh and went on to become a groundbreaking scholar of Africa. His mother, Jeanne Theis, was a shy World War II refugee from France whose father, a Huguenot pastor, helped hide thousands of Jews from the Nazis and Vichy police.

They met in the mid-1950s, when he was a college student and she was his professor, and they carried on a secret romance for more than a year before marrying and having two boys. Eventually they split in a bitter divorce that was followed by decades of unhappiness as his mother coped with self-recrimination and depression while trying to raise her sons by herself, and his father spiraled into an alcoholic descent that destroyed his once meteoric career.

Based on extensive interviews and documentary research as well as his own personal recollections and insights, My Long Trip Home is a reporter's search for the factual and motional truth about a complicated and compelling family, a successful adult's exploration of how he rose from a turbulent childhood to a groundbreaking career, and, ultimately, a son's haunting meditation on the nature of love, loss, identity, and forgiveness.

"Narrator Robertson Dean embodies Whitaker's emotions—both angry and tender." ---AudioFile

"Like Barack Obama's Dreams from My Father, Whitaker's memoir is in many ways an iconic story of the post civil rights era, one in which transcending racial barriers liberates people to succeed and fail in their own peculiar ways." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"A deeply moving history of family relations and racial identity." ---Booklist Starred Review

"A fascinating personal treatise on racial identity and complicated father-son dynamics." ---Kirkus
Publishers Weekly Review

Booklist Review
Author Interview
Mark Whitaker

My Long Trip Home

A Family Memoir

Author Mark Whitaker

Narrated by Robertson Dean

Publication date Nov 21, 2011

Running time 12 hrs

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