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Extended Audio Sample I’m Down: A Memoir Audiobook, by Mishna Wolff Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 5 3.70 (37 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mishna Wolff Narrator: Mishna Wolff Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2009 ISBN: 9781400182787
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Mishna Wolff grew up in a poor black neighborhood with her single father, a white man who truly believed he was black. “He strutted around with a short perm, a Cosby-esque sweater, gold chains, and a Kangol—telling jokes like Redd Fox and giving advice like Jesse Jackson. You couldn’t tell my father he was white. Believe me, I tried,” writes Wolff. And so from early childhood on, her father began his crusade to make his white daughter down.

Unfortunately, Mishna didn’t quite fit in with the neighborhood kids: she couldn’t dance, she couldn’t sing, she couldn’t double dutch, and she was the worst player on her all-black basketball team. She was shy, uncool, and painfully white. And yet when she was suddenly sent to a rich white school, she found she was too “black” to fit in with her white classmates.

I’m Down is a hip, hysterical, and at the same time beautiful memoir that will have you howling with laughter, recommending it to friends and questioning what it means to be black and white in America.

Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marcie Lovett | 2/17/2014

    " Strange little book. Mishna Wolff is a delightful storyteller. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cailen | 2/15/2014

    " Lots of typos... the grammar problems were distracting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kari | 2/15/2014

    " As the book begins, the perspective of time allows the author to tell the story of her somewhat unusual childhood in an amusing and entertaining way, but soon the book is full of swear words, particuarly the "F" word and while I was somewhat willing to forgive it because she is often quoting the words she heard at home and growing up, by the time I got to the end of the book, I was sick of all the swearing. And the ending was baffling to me; this bright and talented young woman, who is now recounting her teenage years, is obviously still aching for the approval of her father, who was a man that neglected his daughter to fulfil his own selfish narcissism. I thought I knew where this book was going -- the coming of age story of a woman who figured out who she was and owned it, despite her struggles, or maybe because of them. But the resolution never came. Perhaps it's because the author has issues that she is still working to resolve. Understandable, yet without acknowledging the fact in the book, it just seems as if the story just ends and it was all for naught. Disappointing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Meghan | 2/5/2014

    " A funny, sometimes painful coming-of-age story with loads of teen appeal. Can anyone feel more out of place than a nerdy white girl in an all-black neighborhood? Only someone who felt profoundly out of place as a kid or teen could appreciate this unique memoir. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/4/2014

    " Very good book, an interesting perspective from a fascinating writer. Witty and charming, it really gives a good glimpse in to her childhood. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott Barney | 2/2/2014

    " Interesting read in growing up an outsider in your own community. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate SouthernBelleSimple | 2/1/2014

    " i stuck with this partly because i couldn't imagine how things were going to turn out for any type of good for the author, but also because her story was sort of like a train wreck and you just can't look away. i did like it though. it was a good picture of how things can be ok when they aren't the best. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cassie | 1/27/2014

    " Easy read. A humorous memoir about a young white girl not fitting in with the poor, black community. She is constantly trying to gain the approval of her father, who believes he IS black. It made me laugh and it made me cry, so it had to be pretty good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marie | 12/30/2013

    " Loved this book! Enough to warrant a written letter to author. This is probably the next best written memoir to Augusten Burroughs. And I don't use that lightly. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie Garcia | 12/28/2013

    " I think was a good book and at moments really funny. Wolff shows us how both the rich and poor all fuck up their children, but in very different ways "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Charlotte | 11/7/2013

    " I appreciated the honesty and humor with which Wolff told her story of growing up and navigating through the worlds of race and privilege. Some moments in the book had me laughing out loud. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angel Dean | 10/15/2013

    " Uneven writing, but an engaging voice and point-of-view. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicole Graul | 7/1/2013

    " Lol funny! Skarda you have to read this one! So your sense of humor! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kammy | 3/12/2013

    " sooo reminds me of growing up and the pains that come with it. I liked the way it was written.. no qualms about writing it the way she actually felt back then.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin Newton | 2/10/2013

    " This was a fantastic memoir. Mishna lives with her dad after her parents' divorce in a predominantly black neighborhood. She struggles with fitting in and figuring out who she is amidst her father's inablitity to keep a job and be a responsible loving parent. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann Marie | 1/21/2013

    " I enjoyed this book and there were some definite hilarious parts without a doubt with are worth the read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betsey | 12/18/2012

    " Stacey and Jodie recommended this book, and I found it funny and poignant. I wanted to keep reading as I went along, and I really felt for the main character. A great book that I hadn't heard of! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katharinesims | 10/6/2012

    " Loved this book! Such a funny, fresh voice. The part about the door literally made me laugh everytime it got woven back into the story! I highly recommend this one! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle Nail-noftsinger | 9/4/2012

    " This shit is hilarious especially her audio book as the author narrates the story as only she can! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mrs. Engel-Unruh | 8/24/2012

    " A hilarious biography of a white girl raised black...and never really fitting in. Hysterical moments at times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Whitney Roesch | 8/9/2012

    " For anyone that feels stuck ' in between' and is looking to find themselves or accept who they are once they get there, this book is a humorous way to accept the differences we all face! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Blane | 5/17/2012

    " If only her story was as interesting as her book's cover... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kirsten | 3/26/2012

    " Haven't laughed out loud so many time while reading a book for a long time! Watch out, there's some language. Loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 KatherineC | 3/10/2012

    " Very interesting take on a childhood memoir. Slow points but enough to keep you reading to find out how it ends. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 2/26/2012

    " with a sequel...i might give it another star....what the heck happens next?!?!?! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cody | 12/8/2011

    " The book was mostly funny, but at times I got frustrated with how the author was treated. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tessie | 7/29/2011

    " This book started out funny, but it is not a comedy the whole way through. It has a light air when you read it, but it is very much about growing up. I liked it very much. Anyone will be able to relate to it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 kate | 5/23/2011

    " Killer read. I finished this in like 2 days. Hilarious, heartwringing, and just a really sweet story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 5/17/2011

    " Four and a half stars. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry while reading this book. Some parts are really funny, but in a dark and tragic kind of way. While this book has levity, it also delves into some deeper issues about race and class in America. Definitely worth the read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betsey | 5/15/2011

    " Stacey and Jodie recommended this book, and I found it funny and poignant. I wanted to keep reading as I went along, and I really felt for the main character. A great book that I hadn't heard of! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelley | 5/13/2011

    " Definitely an argument to be made in the nature vs. nature debate. A funny, sad, poignant story about growing up and how one little girl had the heart of a lion to do it so well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gretchen | 4/20/2011

    " Very funny. I like the authors sense of humor. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia | 4/20/2011

    " If you grew up in the ghetto like me, then you should read this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 4/20/2011

    " I enjoyed this book. However, the first part was aimed at being funny, and the second part was more touching. Both parts were good, but the second part made the stereotypes set up in the first part more complex. This was an easy fun read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 4/12/2011

    " I'd recommend this book. The experiences she has a child with her family reminds me of A Glass Castle. This may be a little more simple in the style of writing, but her experience is still all hilarious, ridiculous, and sad at once. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelli | 3/27/2011

    " This book was funny and really sad to me. I liked it aside from all the F bombs that were dropped in it. There was one part of the book where I was laughing so hard I woke Brandt up.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 3/27/2011

    " A coming of age memoir. Mishna's father, John, reminded me of Rex Walls of the Glass Castle. Good, quick read. Will I ever tire of this genre?? "

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About the Author
Author Mishna Wolff

Mishna Wolff is a comedian and former model who grew up in Seattle. She was one of the 2009 Sundance Screenwriting Lab fellows. She currently divides her time between New York City and Los Angeles.