The masterful Negroland - endlessly impressive and important - is a book of then versus now. Slavery, the Civil War, Civil Rights, the Black Power movement: Jefferson elegantly traverses a rich, often troubling, but surprising historical landscape [...] There's no navel-gazing here. The personal is no longer indistinguishable from the political, but Jefferson achieves that volatile alchemy that's integral to all the finest of memoirs: the transformation of an individual story into something that resonates outside the confines of subjective experience.
Lucy Scholes, Independent
A rare insight into upper-class black society in the US... Jefferson's eye for details yields some devastatingly honest and painful insights [and she takes delight] in the subtleties of language, in the choice of the mot juste... Jefferson is striking a path into dangerous, unfamiliar territory
Clive Davis, The Times
In this compelling, moving and clear-eyed memoir, Jefferson draws on her own experiences and those of previous generations of privileged black Americans to explore complex issues of identity and privilege with insight, compassion and wry wit
Anna Carey, Irish Times
From the Same Author
On Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson: provocateur, icon, enigma.
Who was he, really? And how does his spectacular rise, his catastrophic fall, reflect upon those who made him, those who broke him, and those who loved him?
Almost ten years on from Jackson’s untimely death, here is Margo Jefferson’s definitive and dazzling dissection of the King of Pop: a man admired for his music, his flair, his performances; and censured for his skin, his erratic behaviour, and, in his final years, for his relationships with children.
Margo Jefferson on Granta.com
Essays & Memoir | Granta 140
Monster | State of Mind
‘Today’s a day for you to feel blocked and impeded; a coward in work and love; resenting duty; suspecting pleasure.’