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Njeri was raised in Brooklyn and Harlem. She graduated from Boston University, and Columbia University with an M.S. In 1978, she joined The Miami Herald, and then The Los Angeles Times. In 1995, she was writer in residence at Washington University in St. Louis. She studied at Harvard University.
Her work appeared in Harper's.
But when writing about her family, Ms. Njeri is comfortable and vivid. In the opening pages of the book, she states that what ended up as a memoir was begun as a novel; this makes sense, for the best moments in the book are those that retain the qualities of good fiction. With Every Good-bye Ain't Gone, Itabari Njeri conjures up her history and, in doing so, goes a long way toward making it stirring, heartbreaking and, perhaps most important, visible.
She uses the story to argue that it's time for America to end its obsession with race. Njeri wants to redefine American identity for a post-racial age, and her provocative ideas will likely inspire some readers and infuriate others on both the left and right.