One Book Program. Pictured: BHCC English Professor Caroline Kautsire.

Some Kind of Girl: An African Girl Looking for America

English professor Caroline Kautsire’s compelling journey from Malawi to Boston challenges stereotypes and ignites conversations on diversity and ambition


BHCC launched its annual One Book Program with a compelling reading and book signing by English Professor Caroline Kautsire. Her latest work, Some Kind of Girl: An African Girl Looking for America, delves into her journey as an immigrant from Malawi to Boston, challenging preconceived notions of the American dream.

English Professor Caroline KautsireKautsire’s memoir navigates the complexities of identity, race, gender, class, and sexuality against the backdrop of immigration, work, and education in the U.S. The narrative sheds light on her realization that the America portrayed on television does not mirror the nuanced reality she encounters.

“As a BHCC faculty member, I know what a catalyst for conversation and learning the One Book Program has become,” said Professor Kautsire. “I am looking forward to participating in those conversations over the course of the year.”

Originally from Malawi, Africa, Kautsire currently resides in Boston, where she is a professor of English literature and writing at BHCC. With a background in stage acting and directing, Kautsire’s diverse experiences contribute to her ability to engage audiences through literature and the performing arts.

Some Kind of Girl book cover.“I hear a lot of students say, ‘This is me. I see myself here,’ with excitement,” said Naoko Akai-Dennis, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Composition and Literature, and One Book Program Coordinator. “It is empowering for them to read the book in which their experiences and feelings are rendered and validated.”

BHCC's One Book Program, initiated in 2007 by English Department Chair Jennifer Cohn, fosters a community-wide conversation by selecting a text that addresses contemporary issues. This shared reading experience encourages dialogue among students, faculty, and staff, exploring the text's impact on the community. Throughout the academic year, programming sustains discussions across disciplines, culminating in an annual event where the chosen author interacts with the student body.

“I have faith in the power of literature especially in this day and age when everything is compartmentalized like a nutshell,” added Professor Naoko. “Sharing reading experiences and discussing what we found in a book not only fosters traditional literacy but also enriches our social and cultural literacies.”

Caroline Kautsire's Some Kind of Girl now joins the esteemed list of past One Book selections, including White Space: Essays on Culture, Race, and Writing by Jennifer De Leon, The Other Wes Moore by Maryland Governor Wes Moore, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. As BHCC embarks on a year of engaging discussions, Kautsire's narrative promises to inspire critical thinking and promote positive change within the college community.