“Thoroughly engaging…wonderfully recreates the early Civil Rights era…and fashions dialogue that is pitch-perfect.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“JENNIEMAE AND JAMES is a beautifully toned memoir about the depths as well as the vagaries of human affection: in this case the long, profound affection between the famous mathematician James Newman and his black housekeeper Jenniemae Harrington. A lovely book, giving us much to ponder.”
“Brooke Newman’s JENNIEMAE & JAMES is thoroughly captivating and a standout among contemporary memoirs. Outside her book you’re not likely ever to meet up with another pair of people so singular, stubbornly self-determined and memorably rendered as her father, a brilliant mathematician (and dedicated womanizer), and his household employee, an illiterate black woman with a gambler’s feel for numbers.”
“Brooke Newman’s wonderful book is…a compelling and important story about being the daughter of a difficult and great man, about Washington, D.C. in the middle of the twentieth century, and most of all about the ways in which the stubborn human heart can find love even when it has to cross the great divides of class and wealth and race.”
“At last, a fascinatingly different childhood memoir, …[told] in simple but electrifying prose. The book works not just as compelling personal narrative but also as painful commentary on the racism that pervaded the country in the twentieth century. In Jenniemae & James Newman pays homage to the two people she loved best as an innocent young girl. I couldn’t stop reading until the inevitable, heartbreaking end.