Record Details

Catalog Search

Available copies

  • 0 of 1 copy available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 0 of 1 copy available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

0 current holds with 1 total copy.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Detroit Lakes Public Library 921 NIE (Text) 33500013637129 New Checked out 08/25/2022

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780593489475
  • ISBN: 0593489470
  • Physical Description: 359 pages ; 25 cm.
  • Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2022.

Content descriptions

Summary, etc.:
"A brilliant, funny, generation-defining memoir about the double bind of crafting perfect adversity narratives for highly selective institutions, while fumbling through the far murkier reality of actual life in foster care and inpatient mental health treatment As a child, Emi Nietfeld was caught between a hoarder mother who got her put on antipsychotic medication, but was also the only person to believe she was exceptional, and a state system exemplified by a foster mom who tried to ban her art history flash cards because they had naked pictures (of Michelangelo's David). Even after wresting free of grim inpatient mental health institutions and getting into a prestigious boarding school, Emi scrambled for places to sleep during breaks. Realizing that her path to true independence lay in reinventing herself as a talented overcomer deserving of a full ride, she became obsessed with college admissions. While taking on the sad challenge of presenting herself as resilient to gain authorities' approval, Emi lived the untidy version of actual adversity at the same time- literally drafting her Common App statement while living out of her '92 Corolla. She found herself "trading my past for my future" in college admissions essays and scholarship applications, in an extreme example of the immense pressure on teenagers from all backgrounds to build the foundations of their entire lives. Emi's story is a harsh illumination of the near-impossible challenge set by societal expectations of coming from nothing, the brokenness of our child welfare system, and the reality that congratulatory letters from top schools couldn't keep her safe - as she found when she was raped while on a trip following her Harvard admission. Though Emi learns that entering the Ivy League, working in Big Tech, and living in a fancy apartment doesn't mean her life turns into gold, her reflections on her unlikely history, and her journey in confronting trauma and injustice, hold powerful lessons. Candid and frequently harrowing, with a ribbon of dark humor, Acceptance is a stunning human story and an invaluable view of the actual cost of upward mobility"-- Provided by publisher.

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2022 July #1
    Nietfeld is a Harvard graduate, an award-winning essayist, and a software engineer. She also has spent most of her life trying to hide details about her family and upbringing from others. Her relationships with her parents were strained at best; one mother, after coming out as a transgender woman and losing custody, moved away and rarely spoke to the author, while Nietfield's other mother and full-time custodian struggled with hoarding and providing her daughter with the bare necessities. Nietfeld recounts the struggles of sleeping in cars and on couches, scraping together pennies, coping with self-harm and addiction, and trying to appear as though nothing were wrong. Driven to escape her situation, Nietfeld turned to writing and the arts, attending the prestigious Interlochen boarding school and eventually gaining acceptance to Harvard. Often surrounded by extreme wealth in these institutions, Nietfeld started hiding her background not just by choice but as a survival mechanism. Her impressive debut is a radical probe into our society's insistence on resiliency through unthinkable struggles, leading readers to reexamine long-held definitions of success. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Author Notes

Emi Nietfeld is a writer and software engineer. After graduating from Harvard College in 2015, she worked at Google and Facebook. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Rumpus, Vice, and other publications. She lives in New York City with her family.

Subject: Nietfeld, Emi.
Foster children > United States > Biography.
Child welfare > United States.
Social mobility > United States > Psychological aspects.
HISTORY / Social History.
Child welfare.
Foster children.
Social mobility > Psychological aspects.
United States.
Genre: Biographies.

Additional Resources