The Skin Between Us

A Memoir of Race, Beauty, and Belonging

Kym Ragusa (Author)

Overview | Formats

A memoir of astonishing delicacy and strength about race and physical beauty.

Kym Ragusa's stunningly beautiful, brilliant black mother constantly turned heads as she strolled the streets of West Harlem. Ragusa's working-class white father, who grew up only a few streets (and an entire world) away in Italian East Harlem, had never seen anyone like her. At home their families despaired at the match, while in the streets the couple faced taunting threats from a city still racially divided—but they were mesmerized by the differences between them.

From their volatile, short-lived pairing came a sensitive child with a filmmaker's observant eye. Her two powerful grandmothers gave her the love and stability to grow into her own skin. Eventually, their shared care for their granddaughter forced them to overcome their prejudices. Rent parties and religious feste, baked yams and baked ziti—Ragusa's sensuous memories are a reader's delight, as they bring to life the joy, pain, and inexhaustible richness of a racially and culturally mixed heritage.

A Finalist for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for Nonfiction.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • May 2006
  • ISBN 978-0-393-05890-1
  • 5.8 × 8.6 in / 240 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverThe Skin Between Us: A Memoir of Race, Beauty, and Belonging


Endorsements & Reviews

“A refreshing debut memoir about growing up in between races and in between families.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Fresh, honest, and important.” — Publishers Weekly

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