Black Ice (memoir)

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Black Ice
Cary black ice.jpg
Cover of 1992 Vintage edition
AuthorLorene Cary
PublisherAlfred A. Knopf (1st. ed.)
Followed byThe Price of a Child (novel, 1995) 

Black Ice is a memoir by American author Lorene Cary. First published in 1991, it relates the African American author's experiences at the elite St. Paul's boarding school in New Hampshire. The book, Cary's first publication and the stepping stone to her career as a writer, was a critical and commercial success.


Cary grew up in a working-class background[1] in Philadelphia. In 1972, she was invited to the elite St. Paul's boarding school in New Hampshire, on scholarship,[2] as only the second African-American female student.[2] She spent two years at St. Paul's, graduating in 1974,[3] and then worked as a journalist for publications including Time. After first writing about her experience at St. Paul's in a magazine article in 1988,[4] she published a more complete memoir, Black Ice.

Publication and reception[edit]

The book was published in 1991 by Alfred A. Knopf,[2] and Phillip Lopate, reviewing the book for The New York Times called it a "stunning memoir".[4] The book, "bruisingly honest about class, race and sex in America",[1] found success with the critics and was shortlisted the same year by The New York Times as "summer reading";[5] her first publication, it was republished the next year by Vintage Books.[6]


  1. ^ a b Eberstadt, Fernanda (18 June 1995). "Freedom Rider: The Price of a Child by Lorene Cary". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Johnson, George R. (31 March 1991). "The Journey to Belonging: Black Ice, By Lorene Cary". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  3. ^ Lyons, Gene (5 April 1991). "Rev. of Lorene Cary, Black Ice". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  4. ^ a b Lopate, Phillip; Rosemary L. Bray (31 March 1991). "American on Their Own Terms; An Epistle From St. Paul's". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  5. ^ "Summer Reading 1991; Books for Vacation Reading". The New York Times. 9 June 1991. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  6. ^ Johnson, George (1 March 1992). "New & Noteworthy". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 February 2011.