Random Family

Random Family

Adrian Nicole LeBlanc

Pub date
Harper Perennial
B Format 129x198mm
432 pages
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Book Overview

One of the best works of investigative journalism in years, ‘Random Family’ tells the story of growing up in the Latino ghettos of the Bronx, a story of drug-dealers, young mothers, poverty and violence, a family saga like no other.

It’s 1985 in the Bronx and teenagers Jessica and Coco are dating drug dealers and getting pregnant. Fifteen years later, they each have five children, Jessica is a grandmother and her drug-dealer boyfriend is serving a life sentence. Welcome to their world.

Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, a prize-winning investigative journalist, has spent a decade accompanying and recording the lives of a motley crew of Latinos living in the Bronx. The result is this extraordinary portrait of love, sex and survival, one of the most riveting and highly acclaimed books of the decade.

About the author

Adrian Nicole LeBlanc has written for the New York Times, Esquire, Village Voice and Elle. She was a non-fiction fellow at Radcliffe’s Bunting Institute.


  • ‘Remarkable…filled with indelible images and heartbreaking moments. I cannot praise it enough. A towering achievement.’ Daily Telegraph
  • ‘An extraordinary social document which is also a riveting read.’ Observer
  • ‘I always thought the phrase that critics occasionally use – “If you buy just one book this year, make it this one” – quite meaningless until I read “Random Family”.’ Books of the Year, New Statesman
  • ‘A brilliant book. LeBlanc sinks into the world of her subjects, identifying exactly and in intimate detail the successive trials by which they are afflicted.’ Sunday Times
  • ‘This book took 10 years to report and it may well stand 10 years of reading.’ Editors’ Top Ten Books of the Year, New York Times
  • ‘A startling portrait of how demanding it is to be poor.’ Books of the Year, Economist
  • ‘LeBlanc’s work shines as a monumental work of narrative journalism. Poverty is the oldest story in town, and the trick is to write about it in a way that makes us look at it anew. LeBlanc’s reportage does just that, and shows us exactly what we’re missing. Read it and wonder why.’ Scotsman
  • ‘There are more drugs, violence and abuse in chapter one of this chronicle of inner-city women’s lives than most of us will ever experience. Disturbing, complicated and emotional, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc’s book will haunt you.’ Marie Claire