Vanessa A.

Bee

Memoir Author
Consumer protection lawyer
Travels from: Washington, D.C.

“Bee’s lyrical, emotive prose takes readers through her life with an intimacy that draws and keeps them close. . . . [Home Bound will] appeal to a variety of reader, challenging singular beliefs of what it means to be a daughter, sister, lover, wife, lawyer, and mother.” —Library Journal, starred review

Vanessa A. Bee is a consumer protection lawyer interested in inequality and corporate power, a memoir author, and an essayist. Born in Cameroon, she grew up in France, England, and the United States.

Vanessa’s book, Home Bound: An Uprooted Daughter’s Reflections on Belonging, is an experimental memoir that reflects on a childhood spanning across three three continents, between social housing and public boarding school and nicer homes, from the secular to the evangelical and back, from small public schools to Harvard Law School – all of which offers a meditation on the concept of home and the factors that can complicate it.

Her writing has appeared in among others, Current Affairs, The Nation, Guernica, and n+1 where she received a “Notable Essays” mention in the The Best American Essays 2022. Vanessa holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Nevada and a law degree from Harvard. She lives in Washington, DC.

Home Bound: An Uprooted Daughter’s Reflections on Belonging

Astra House |
Memoir

“This moving book is both an act of defiance — a way to construct a home outside of borders — and a timely manifesto on the need for more equitable housing policy in America, weaving her scholarship in economic justice together with her firsthand experience of the many places she’s lived. “Home Bound” is not just a resonant personal history, but also a thoroughly researched investigation of home.”
—Rajpreet Heir, The New York Times Book Review

“Readers of Home Bound will likely experience that pleasant rush of recognizing something personal in someone else’s reality, of answering, yes, home feels like this to me, too.”
—Chicago Review of Books

“Bee’s lyrical, emotive prose takes readers through her life with an intimacy that draws and keeps them close. . . . [Home Bound will] appeal to a variety of reader, challenging singular beliefs of what it means to be a daughter, sister, lover, wife, lawyer, and mother.”
—Library Journal, starred review

In this singular and intimate memoir of identity and discovery, Vanessa A. Bee explores the way we define “home” and “belonging” — from her birth in Yaoundé, Cameroon, to her adoption by her aunt and her aunt’s white French husband, to experiencing housing insecurity in Europe and her eventual immigration to the US. After her parents’ divorce, Vanessa traveled with her mother to Lyon and later to London, eventually settling in Reno, Nevada, as a teenager, right around the financial crisis and the collapse of the housing market. At twenty, still a practicing evangelical Christian and newly married, Vanessa applied to and was accepted by Harvard Law School, where she was one of the youngest members of her class. There, she forged a new belief system, divorced her husband, left the church, and, inspired by her tumultuous childhood, pursued a career in economic justice upon graduation.

Vanessa’s adoptive, multiracial, multilingual, multinational, and transcontinental upbringing has caused her to grapple for years with foundational questions such as: What is home? Is it the country we’re born in, the body we possess, or the name we were given and that identifies us? Is it the house we remember most fondly, the social status assigned to us, or the ideology we forge? What defines us and makes us uniquely who we are?

Organized unconventionally around her own dictionary-style definitions of the word “home,” Vanessa tackles these timeless questions thematically and unpacks the many layers that contribute to and condition our understanding of ourselves and of our place in the world.

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Coming soon!

Vanessa’s Writing

Honors, Awards & Recognition

The Best American Essays | Notable Essay

Media Kit

By clicking the link below your will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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