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Book: Split at the Root - A Memoir of Love and Lost Identity by Catana Tully

Book: Split at the Root - A Memoir of Love and Lost Identity by Catana Tully

categories: Book, Literature, Blended Family, Adoption, Interracial Adoption, Parenting, Social Sciences, Child Psychology, Multicultural Identity, Family Relations, Adult Adoptee, Adoption Identity, Memoir


Catana Tully

Author Catana Tullyabout this book: Split at the Root: A Memoir of Love and Lost Identity addresses, among many issues, the loss of cultural and racial identity of a Black child adopted into a White family. I decided to write my story that spans over six decades, when international and interracial adoptions started to become a popular phenomenon. Sharing my experience would bring to light the layers of confusion, sense of abandonment, and cultural alienation still manifest, not early in life, but after a lifetime. The issues are skillfully embedded into a story that reads like a mystery, for not until the end, when the last layer is revealed does the reader understand the complexity that underlies a search for one's identity. Thus, the primary audience for Split at the Root, are parents who adopted, or plan to adopt interracially, and adoptees who struggle with conflicted loyalties. Secondary readers are mixed-race teens and older children who grapple with having grown up in two cultures. The story is highly personal, thus resonates universally, as the many complimentary reviews have stated. The most difficult part of writing Split at the Root was the fear of hurting the adoptive family, as it was hard, after years of integral to that family, to need to search for the original roots. The research was intense, involving several trips to the remote village of my birth to connect with a family that had held my existence as legend. The reader follows the character through a maze of confusing truths and lies and is led to think and consider how she/he feels about their own sense of self.

Split at the Root: A Memoir of Love and Lost Identity, has been chosen as required reading in USC's (University of Southern California) Master of Social Work program. It was also selected as required reading in the English Lit. Department of Georgian Court University in NJ for English majors at the junior level. The book is currently also under discussion for inclusion in the psychology department of a major university. It is currently being translated into German and French and has several excellent reviews in the US, Great Britain, and Germany.


• Tully, an able storyteller, relates an interesting, enlightening story. ... In engaging, elegant prose, this memoir unveils the blessings and pitfalls of growing up among an ethnicity and a culture different from one's own."
— PW Select review, Publishers Weekly

• "For fans of Obama's Dreams From My Father, and Mark Whitaker's My Long Trip Home, this book is a must-read: a well researched, cinematic telling of a woman's search for her true identity."
— Hope Ferguson, ESC Exchange, Jan. 2013

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