Books: Project Girl

By Janet McDonald

The author grew up in a Brooklyn housing project, surrounded by dead ends and broken dreams. Blessed with blinding intelligence, McDonald pulled herself out, earning Ivy League degrees and landing jobs at tony law firms. But she is tormented: by a harrowing rape; by her brushes with the law; by the white-dominated world she has entered. And she has regrets about what she has left behind. McDonald writes with lucidity and drama, but by the end of the book, her cynicism has become toxic. Her rise out of the underclass is, in many ways, testament to the resilience of American meritocracy....

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