In the Darkroom

In the Darkroom

Book - 2016
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"'In the summer of 2004 I set out to investigate someone I scarcely knew, my father. The project began with a grievance, the grievance of a daughter whose parent had absconded from her life. I was in pursuit of a scofflaw, an artful dodger who had skipped out on so many things--obligation, affection, culpability, contrition. I was preparing an indictment, amassing discovery for a trial. But somewhere along the line, the prosecutor became a witness.' So begins Susan Faludi's extraordinary inquiry into the meaning of identity in the modern world and in her own haunted family saga. When the feminist writer learned that her 76-year-old father--long estranged and living in Hungary--had undergone sex reassignment surgery, that investigation would turn personal and urgent. How was this new parent who claimed to be "a complete woman now" connected to the silent, explosive, and ultimately violent father she had known? Faludi chases that mystery into the recesses of her suburban childhood and her father's many previous incarnations: American dad, Alpine mountaineer, swashbuckling adventurer in the Amazon outback, Jewish fugitive in Holocaust Budapest. When the author travels to Hungary to reunite with her father, she drops into a labyrinth of dark histories and dangerous politics in a country hell-bent on repressing its past and constructing a fanciful--and virulent--nationhood. The search for identity that has transfixed our century was proving as treacherous for nations as for individuals. Faludi's struggle to come to grips with her father's reinvented self takes her across borders--historical, political, religious, sexual--to bring her face to face with the question of the age: Is identity something you "choose," or is it the very thing you can't escape?"--
Publisher: New York :, Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company,, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780805089080
Branch Call Number: ANF 818.603 FAL
Characteristics: 417 pages ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: In the dark room

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j
jr3083
Sep 18, 2016

How does the child -even as an adult- react when a parent changes gender? In this book Susan Faludi, feminist and theorist, reconnects with a father she barely knew when he emails her with news that he is now not Steven, but Stephanie. She travels to Hungary a number of times over succeeding years, re-establishing a relationship with this new person, and trying to make connections between the two halves of his life (something Stephanie did not try to do). It's a cerebral book, but rooted in the emotions. See my full review here:
https://residentjudge.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/in-the-darkroom-by-susan-faludi/

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