Selected by The Los Angeles Times Book Review as one of the best books of the year, Project Girl is the powerful account of a young woman's struggle to realize her dreams while remaining true to who she was before attending Ivy League schools and receiving impressive diplomas. It tells of the spectacular failures and unlikely comebacks of a ghetto kid whose academic talent opens doors onto a world of private schools, rich classmates, and plum jobs but who back home confronts a neighborhood of growing poverty, drug abuse, and crime. Project Girl is McDonald's story of her divided life and terrible battle to reconcile opposing worlds.
Janet McDonald grew up in a public housing project in New York City. A graduate of Vassar College, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and New University School of Law, she is currently a lawyer in Paris.
"An eloquent account of a remarkable life, Project Girl should be placed on all high school and college reading lists and offered to anyone looking for a book beautifully written."—Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes
"In her engrossing memoir, McDonald, a Brooklyn-born lawyer now living in Paris, compares herself to Icarus because she, too, soared and fell mightily. The difference is that after her falls, McDonald picked herself up and charged onward."—Sara Ivry, New York Times Book Review
"Devastating. . . . McDonald argues her case with lawyerly concision, drop-dead ghetto humor, and just a touch of schoolgirl psychobabble. . . . No wonder McDonald fled to Paris, where, freed from the American obsession with race, she wrote this stinging epitaph for the decade that gave us the word yuppie."—Susanne Ruta, Entertainment Weekly
"Going to the bookstore is becoming more and more like riding in a subway--there are a whole bunch of people with stories to tell but very few who know how to tell a good story. Every once in a while though, we might find ourselves sitting next to someone whose story is so intriguing that we actually miss our stop because we are so engrossed in their tale. Such is the effect of Janet McDonald's Project Girl."—Deborah Cowell, Black Issues Book Review