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Fairest: A Memoir (Hardcover)

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A singular, beautifully written coming-of-age memoir of a Filipino boy with albinism whose story travels from an immigrant childhood to Harvard to a gender transition and illuminates the illusions of race, disability, and gender.

Fairest is a memoir about a precocious boy with albinism, a "sun child" from a rural Philippine village, who would grow up to become a woman in America. Coping with the strain of parental neglect and the elusive promise of U.S. citizenship, Talusan found childhood comfort from her devoted grandmother, a grounding force as she was treated by others with special preference or public curiosity. 

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A singular, beautifully written coming-of-age memoir of a Filipino boy with albinism whose story travels from an immigrant childhood to Harvard to a gender transition and illuminates the illusions of race, disability, and gender.

Fairest is a memoir about a precocious boy with albinism, a "sun child" from a rural Philippine village, who would grow up to become a woman in America. Coping with the strain of parental neglect and the elusive promise of U.S. citizenship, Talusan found childhood comfort from her devoted grandmother, a grounding force as she was treated by others with special preference or public curiosity. As an immigrant to the United States, Talusan came to be perceived as white. An academic scholarship to Harvard provided access to elite circles of privilege but required Talusan to navigate through the complex spheres of race, class, sexuality, and her place within the gay community. She emerged as an artist and an activist questioning the boundaries of gender.

Talusan realized she did not want to be confined to a prescribed role as a man, and transitioned to become a woman, despite the risk of losing a man she deeply loved. Throughout her journey, Talusan shares poignant and powerful episodes of desirability and love that will remind readers of works such as Call Me By Your Name and Giovanni's Room. Her evocative reflections will shift our own perceptions of love, identity, gender, and the fairness of life.

More Information
ISBN 9780525561309
Publisher Viking
Publication Date May 26, 2020
Pages (number) 320
Genre Biographies and Memoirs
Author Meredith Talusan
Signed No
Format Hardcover
Editorial Reviews

“An award-winning journalist tells the story of how she came to terms with a complex identity that forced her to navigate issues of gender, race, and class…. The author examines queer otherness with relentless honesty, and she investigates how accidental whiteness did not automatically lead to the fairest outcomes, either for herself or others. A captivatingly eloquent memoir.” Kirkus

“This elegant memoir examining whiteness, womanhood, and the shaping of identity will resonate with readers of any community, LGBTQ or not.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

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