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About The Book

From the bestselling author of Good Hair and The Itch comes a novel about a modern woman living in—and acting out—her role as an upper-class African American suburban wife.

Ina West is caught between the life she thought she was supposed to lead and the dreams she gave up long ago. Raised by loving but imperfect parents, Ina grew up a free spirit, getting a fine education and spending her twenty-something years as a photographer in Manhattan. But when family crisis and financial burdens came her way, Ina sought comfort in the arms of Jay Robinson, a hardworking businessman who occupied the safe, privileged world of the African-American upper middle class.

As Jay’s wife, Ina has it all: the lavish home, the SUV, the soccer games...until one day Jay walks out of their marriage, leaving Ina with no one left to trust but herself. How she manages to raise three children, take up her old career, rekindle an old flame, and celebrate her newfound independence is what Acting Out is all about. By turns heartbreaking, uplifting, and wry, this novel will resonate for any woman who has struggled to find her path in life.

About The Author

Photograph by Chester Toye © 2013

Benilde Little  is the bestselling author of the novels Good Hair (selected as one of the ten best books of 1996 by the Los Angeles Times), The Itch, Acting Out, and Who Does She Think She Is? A former reporter for People and senior editor at Essence, she lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with her husband. Follower her on Twitter and Instagram @BenildeLittle and read her blog, Welcome to My Breakdown, at

Product Details

  • Publisher: Free Press (May 11, 2010)
  • Length: 288 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781439135860

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Raves and Reviews

Ebony Once again, [Little] has created characters that are real and memorable.

The New York Times Book Review In the novel's most arresting passages, Ina relates her lack of identity to her own family's history and the historical legacy of all African Americans....Little's expressive prose lends [Ina's journey] substance.

The Buffalo News Delightful brain candy.

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