Laurie Gunst is the youngest child of a well-to-do southern family of German-Jewish descent. Her primary source of care and love is Rhoda, a woman who had been her grandmother's maid. Summoned from New York City to Richmond, Virginia, childless Rhoda had taken charge of the new baby and raised her.
The intimate relationship between caregiver and child is strong. So is Laurie's shame at aspects of her family's racially intolerant past: An ancestor fought for the South in the Civil War
Laurie Gunst was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, with summers in Wilmington, North Carolina. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of New Hampshire and a PhD from Harvard University. She is the author of Born Fi' Dead: A Journey Through the Jamaican Posse Underworld, published by Holt in 1996. She now teaches a course on race relations at The New School in New York City, where she lives with her husband. more >>