Michael Datcher

Raising Fences

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This New York Times–bestselling memoir about an African American man’s struggles and triumphs is “heartrending and beautiful” (Junot Diaz Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao).
A Today Show Book Club selection, Raising Fences tells the story of a man whose youth was spent committing petty crimes, experimenting with sex, and developing a mortal fear of police. Like many young black men, Michael Datcher’s childhood was marked by the gaping hole left by an absent father. Out of that absence grew the desire to fulfill a dream that seemed almost a fantasy: to leave the streets behind, build a family, and become what he had wanted so badly—a good father.
Moving past his self-destructive habits and taking responsibility for his mistakes wasn’t easy. Datcher’s journey nearly brought him to his breaking point—where he faced the threat of becoming what he feared most.
“Datcher’s voice is clear, bold, daring, and welcome.” —Junot Diaz, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
“Honest, brisk and ultimately very moving . . . A beautiful story of real-life redemption.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Combines attitude, honesty and romance . . . A stunning tribute to perseverance, courage and the power of positive thinking.” —Publishers Weekly
“Brutally honest, hauntingly poetic . . . Heartbreaking.” —Essence
“Riveting.” —USA Today
“Poignant . . . Complex.” —The Seattle Times
“An inspiration to all who dare to dream of a better life.” —The Star-Ledger
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286 printed pages
Original publication
2015

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