Fairest - Meredith Talusan

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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. Her evocative reflections will shift our own perceptions of love, identity, gender, and the fairness of life.

REVIEWS:

“Talusan sails past the conventions of trans and immigrant memoirs.” — The New York Times Book Review

“Talusan is one of the most stellar essayists writing today, and one of the very best at examining the many different meanings of transition.”  O: The Oprah Magazine

“This nuance, this careful attention to looking and attempting to understand this journey not just from her own perspective, but also from those affected by it, gives a welcome maturity, depth and resonance to Talusan's memoir.” — NPR

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