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Publisher's Summary

From one of the fiercest critics writing today, Morgan Jerkins' highly anticipated collection of linked essays interweaves her incisive commentary on pop culture, feminism, Black history, misogyny, and racism with her own experiences to confront the very real challenges of being a Black woman today - perfect for fans of Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist, Rebecca Solnit's Men Explain Things to Me, and Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie's We Should All Be Feminists. 

Morgan Jerkins is only in her 20s, but she has already established herself as an insightful, brutally honest writer who isn't afraid of tackling tough, controversial subjects. In This Will Be My Undoing, she takes on perhaps one of the most provocative contemporary topics: What does it mean to "be" - to live as, to exist as - a Black woman today? This is a book about Black women, but it's necessary listening for all Americans. 

Doubly disenfranchised by race and gender, often deprived of a place within the mostly White mainstream feminist movement, Black women are objectified, silenced, and marginalized, with devastating consequences, in ways both obvious and subtle that are rarely acknowledged in our country's larger discussion about inequality. In This Will Be My Undoing, Jerkins becomes both narrator and subject to expose the social, cultural, and historical story of Black female oppression that influences the Black community as well as the White, male-dominated world at large. 

Whether she's writing about Sailor Moon; Rachel Dolezal; the stigma of therapy; her complex relationship with her own physical body; the pain of dating when men say they don't "see color"; being a Black visitor in Russia; the specter of "the fast-tailed girl" and the paradox of Black female sexuality; or disabled Black women in the context of the "Black Girl Magic" movement, Jerkins is compelling and revelatory. 

©2018 Morgan Jerkins (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"This raw, compelling memoir makes for an outstanding audiobook, and the author's narration is well done. The depth of her intelligence is immediately obvious, but what's more riveting is her brutal honesty and her willingness to speak her truth--both beautiful and messy.... This book is a must-listen - both funny and heartbreaking - but more importantly, it is an eye-opening call to action." (AudioFile)  

What listeners say about This Will Be My Undoing

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  • Imy
  • 10-01-2021

Mind undoing for a non-black person

As a white person, I wanted to understand what it is really like for someone who identifies as black living in today’s world. This book was mind “undoing” - what I mean by that is that ways of experiencing the world that seem normal and everyday to me, are so foreign for someone who is a black woman. Also, how a black woman needs to navigate the world in every day life, no matter how successful she is, is something I have never needed to experience.
I could relate to some concepts as a woman, but am also clear that my ‘similar’ experiences will never close to what black woman experience.

Highly recommended for any woman to listen to of any colour and race.

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Every white woman needs to hear this.

Phenomenal. It changed the landscape of my thinking on feminism and white patriarchy. I can not recommend it more.

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  • Colleen
  • 10-02-2018

LOVE!!!!! She could not be more different from me

But I have never felt so represented by a book!!
I am not young, black, smart enough to go to an Ivy, an "up and comer" or the daughter of divorced parents but I have never felt my feelings so voiced. The fact she actually reads her own work makes it even more powerful.
I remember the relentless pushing through high school with a Trident missile's targeting on getting out of my hometown! The anxiety of college where the heady knowledge, desire to study, learning, meeting inspirational leaders all could all be instantly drowned in a "does he like me/why doesn't he like me" panic attack. Parents and environment who instilled an incredibly toxic and out of synch view of sexuality.
Speaking of sex- some essays in this book are incredibly raw and honest. If you can not deal with a woman having a powerful sex drive or explicitly discussed medical issues this is NOT the book for you. However, listening to one chapter in this book is the first time I ever got a physical reaction where I wanted to cross my legs- like guys do when they see a baseball player catch a ball in the berries.
I loved it so much I also bought the paperback!

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  • Nancy Stevenson
  • 18-03-2018

Must read

Morgan is an incredible writer and performer. I think this should be a must read for everyone who considers themselves human. So everyone. But if I had to choose, definitely all Americans. Morgan writes beautifully and with an openness that is difficult to find. I’m excited to follow her career and hope that voices like hers continue to push their way through the noise.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Rrrapture G
  • 10-03-2018

Enjoyed it so much I'm going to listen to it again

I am indebted to Morgan Jerkins for writing this book and literally giving her voice to it in this audiobook. She tied together some abstract concepts with practical stories and examples very personal parts of her life. and at the same time she revealed a lot to me, a liberal white woman, about how I can work personally and in my community 2 Fight Against Racism and patriarchy. so-- please listen to this beautiful and brilliant story.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Angela Spencer
  • 16-07-2018

Raw, honest, real

Morgan gives an unapologetic, cutting, and cathartic experience of being a black woman in a white patriarchal society. It hurts, it stings, but it is the most real thing I have listened to in many a year.
The book is not laced with much hope, but I don’t believe that was the point; just taking a raw gaze at black feminism for what it is. What we do with it, is up to us.
I thank Morgan for her encouragement to survive as we always have, and to thrive with the gifts we have always had, too, as well as thrive by not picking up society’s burdens.
Very, very well done. M

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  • HM
  • 04-03-2018

Beautiful. Brutal. Compelling. Awakening, even if you think you're woke.

Brilliant. Strong. Concentrated. Powerful. Not light reading. And might change your life. Rethinking my own life and experiences with a different outlook. Better for it. Thank you.

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  • Photorealist
  • 22-02-2018

searing honesty and rigor

A beautiful book and a must read. I was astonished by vulnerable the author was willing to be with the details of her inner life. In the same book, she gives one of the most well thought out treatments of the thorny issue of Black representation in the works of white artists that I've ever encountered. I also really enjoyed the author's performance of her own work, it isn't something every author can pull off, Ms. Jerkins does.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-03-2018

Every black girl should read this book.

I loved this book. I especially love black woman memoirs where the author is the narrator. This book gives language to my experiences growing up as an awkward black girl in white America. Thank you Morgan.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Chloe Thompson
  • 22-03-2018

Thoroughly Enjoyed This Read

Although this book was not written about me or necessarily for me, it was a privilege to listen to and witness it. A must read for the eloquent and honest writing and in order to make space for the experiences of the author.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-02-2018

Deep, insightful, explanatory, expressive

Thank you Morgan Jenkins for writing this book. I loved every single minute of it.

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  • Courtenay
  • 07-02-2018

I've never identified so closely with a writer

What made the experience of listening to This Will Be My Undoing the most enjoyable?

Morgan Jenkins narrates this story with as much honesty as poise as she employs in her writing.

What did you like best about this story?

All of it. As a 27 year old black woman, I've never read a memoir that I could relate to this much. She admits things that I would never. Struggles with things as a woman that I do everyday (including a beloved stepfather with a degenerative frontal lobe--crazy!). Recognizes her power as a black woman in many of the ways that I do. I will definitely be buying a hard copy and recommending this to friends- both male and female because I think her story is milk and honey for black women and should be required reading before dating a black girl.

Which character – as performed by Morgan Jerkins – was your favorite?

Morgan.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

An empowering tale and prerequisite before dating a black girl.

Any additional comments?

Congratulations on all your accomplishments. Thank you for shedding so many layers and even teaching me some things. Carry on.

3 people found this helpful

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