About Mixed

Nicole Zelniker’s Mixed, a work of non-fiction about race and mixed-race families, is available now in paperback on Amazon, on Amazon Kindle and on Barnes and Noble’s website.

Listen to Nicole talk about Mixed on episode five “I’m Trying!” and on episodes three and five of “The Nasiona Podcast.” Mixed was also mentioned on the Mixed Race Studies blog.


Advanced praise for Mixed:

“At a time when U.S. society is being ripped asunder by division, we are more inclined than ever to retreat to our tribes, where we believe we are more likely to find safety and understanding. But what happens when you belong to more than one tribe, when your identity doesn’t neatly slide into a particular slot? In Mixed, Nicole Zelniker deftly explores the fascinating conflicts and confusion that often course through the daily lives of people sitting on the bubble between two communities, two different worlds. These are existences that our society desperately needs to understand, to welcome, to celebrate—for this is the American future.”

–Nick Chiles, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling co-author of The Rejected Stone: Al Sharpton and the Path to American Leadership

“While race has no biological basis, in the U.S. it is culturally real. Combining personal stories and research, Nicole Zelniker sensitively explores that reality as it relates to identity struggles in a variety of multi-race family structures. Mixed is a valuable resource for biological offspring of biracial couples; for adoptees from racial/ethnic traditions different from their adoptive parents; and for biracial couples, both gay and straight, considering parenthood. Teachers and relatives whose lives these families touch are sure to gain valuable insight as well.”

-Nancy Werking Poling, author of Before It Was Legal: A Black-White Marriage (1945-1987)

Mixed will be a tremendous resource for those trying to understand why race still matters in the 21st century U.S. The interviews offer depth and richness in expressing the lived experience of racially mixed families and their children in the age of Trump. Zelniker’s work exposes the myth of colorblindness that many white residents of the U.S. still cling to, but must relinquish when they love someone of color. To love someone is to understand at least something about how they live, and Mixed presents in collage a portrait of mixed race families and the confusion, frustration, love and deep communication that exists in real relationships across the color line.”

-Lisa McLeod, Professor of Philosophy

“No matter how many books about multiracial people get written (and there are now a considerable number), there is always scope to learn more about what it means to be mixed. This books makes an important contribution to this burgeoning literature, with its insight and portrayals of the many different mixed experiences that have yet to come to light.”

-Miri Song, Professor of Sociology and author of Multiracial Parents: Mixed Families, Generational Change, and the Future of Race

“Through the stories of a deeply diverse array of people, we learn more than we could imagine about what it means to be multiracial. This beautifully-crafted book unites these stories so that we peel them back, layer after layer to find delight, shame, joy, confusion, acceptance, prejudice, pain, optimism and so many more life experiences. Mixed is a necessary work that adds nuance to the national discourse about race in the United States.”

-Amina Chaudhri, author of Multiracial Identity in Children’s Literature: Reading Diversity in the Classroom

On Amazon:

“This book, rich with direct and honest voices speaking across and beyond racial lines, could not be more timely. Drawing on both the historical record and contemporary data, Zelniker straightforwardly frames what it has meant and means to be mixed race in America, while creating a refreshing and necessary space for people and stories that have too often gone unheard in our conversations about culture and individual identity. With a journalist’s sensitivity, she deftly stands back to let her interview subjects speak for themselves. The result is a collection of encounters that is as authentic as it is informative. As a mixed-race American, I deeply appreciated the accuracy and clarity of this book–but most of all the way it listens to the candid and varied and complex voices that lie at its heart. Highly recommended.”

-Mylène Dressler, author of The Last to See Me and Associate Professor of English

“Nicole and I worked for our undergraduate newspaper together, a small publication at a small liberal arts school where we focused on social justice stories. We briefly got to live in this almost-utopian world of journalism, but we always knew what journalists in the ‘real world’ think the genre should be. Unbiased seems to mean to a lot of journalists that if you interview one black person about race, you have to include the views of a white nationalist in the name of being balanced. This book is inspirational and refreshing in that it pushes back against that. Instead of just claiming to center voices of mixed individuals and families, Nicole actually gives them all of the text, giving them all of the space. This book is truly respectful to the people mentioned in it and tells their stories honestly. More journalists should be writing like this if they actually want to make a difference in educating others or want to tell stories of marginalized people.”

Allison DeBusk, journalist and former editor-in-chief of The Guilfordian

Mixed offers a much-needed honest look into the lives of mixed people and families. The stories told are deeply personal and shed rare light on the complexities of what the word ‘mixed’ can mean. For many mixed race people, myself included, race can become a tough topic to discuss because of how many gray areas there are. This book cracks open that hard conversation (and others) and gives people with lived experience the room to set their own narrative around race. Mixed offers a powerful on-the-ground look that will become increasingly important as we enter an increasingly mixed future. Mixed is an excellent book for anyone seeking kinship in other’s stories of being mixed or being in mixed families and anyone looking for a more nuanced understanding of race in the United States.”

-Justyn Melrose, journalist at WGHP FOX8