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Most of us know who we are and where we come from. Alther's mother hailed from New York, her father from Virginia, and every day they reenacted the Civil War at home. Then a babysitter told Alther about the Melungeons: six-fingered child-snatchers who hid in caves. Forgetting about these creepy kidnappers until she had a daughter of her own, Alther learned they were an isolated group of dark-skinned people, some with extra thumbs living in East Tennessee. But who were they? Descendants of Raleigh's Lost Colony? The children of European settlers, African slaves, and Native Americans? Learning a cousin had his extra thumbs removed, Alther set out to discover who these Melungeons really wereÑ, and why her grandmother wouldn't let her visit their Virginia relatives. Sweeping and provocative, KINFOLKS shimmers with wicked humor, illustrating just how wacky and wonderful our human family really is.

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