5.5 Crown Publishing
Available April 24, 2018
".....other speaking invitations followed and my talks where magic. At the end of each one people were in tears. But they understood nothing-least of all, that I wasn't special. There were so many of me, thousands, millions. I just happen to be the one standing in the room. Don't cry for me, I wanted to say. Cry for them, it will take you a hundred lifetimes to cry for all of them..."
When Clemantine was twelve, she and her sister were granted refugee status in the United States; there, in Chicago, their lives diverged. Though their bond remained unbreakable, Claire, who had for so long protected and provided for Clemantine, was a single mother struggling to make ends meet, while Clemantine was taken in by a family who raised her as their own. She seemed to live the American dream: attending private school, taking up cheerleading, and, ultimately, graduating from Yale. Yet the years of being treated as less than human, of going hungry and seeing death, could not be erased. She felt at the same time six years old and one hundred years old.
In Clemantine provokes us to look beyond the label of “victim” and recognize the power of the imagination to transcend even the most profound injuries and aftershocks. Devastating yet beautiful, and bracingly original, it is a powerful testament to her commitment to constructing a life on her own terms.
Clemantine and her sister Claire