Fairest : a memoir

by Talusan, Meredith,

Format: Print Book 2020
Availability: Available at 5 Libraries 5 of 5 copies
Available (5)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Brookline Non-Fiction Collection HQ77.8.T36 A3 2020
Location  CLP - Brookline
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  HQ77.8.T36 A3 2020
CLP - Main Library First Floor - New Non-fiction HQ77.8.T36 A3 2020
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  First Floor - New Non-fiction
Call Number  HQ77.8.T36 A3 2020
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction 306.76 Tal
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  306.76 Tal
Northland Public Library Biography B TALUSAN
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Biography
Call Number  B TALUSAN
Pleasant Hills Public Library Nonfiction 92 TALUSAN Meredith
Location  Pleasant Hills Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  92 TALUSAN Meredith
Finalist for the 2021 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Nonfiction

"Talusan sails past the conventions of trans and immigrant memoirs." -- The New York Times Book Review

"A ball of light hurled into the dark undertow of migration and survival." --Ocean Vuong, author of On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

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.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "At 15, the author, born an albino Filipino, descendant of peasant farmers, immigrated to the U.S., where she was perceived as being white. Academically gifted, she went to Harvard, where she came out, and, some years later, after going to work at MIT, completed her transition to being a transgender woman. This is her coming-of-age story, which moves backward and forward in time, from being the grandchild of a doting grandmother who regards her as beautiful and promises her a better future, to growing up the offspring of woefully neglectful parents; from a childhood crush on her best friend to a life-enriching love with an older man. Her carefully detailed story is notable for its introspection ("I liked being alone with my thoughts") and emotional depth. The account of her earlier life as a man and her decision to become a woman--including reassignment surgery--is psychologically acute, enlightening, and occasionally heartbreaking as her decision to transition spelled the end of her relationship with the man she loved. Fairest is a welcome addition to transgender literature."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Talusan, a founding executive editor of Them, Condé Nast's LGBTQ online magazine, who was born as an albino boy in the Philippines, relays her "journey across gender" in an assured debut memoir with a cinematic flair. Talusan discusses growing up as a blond-haired oddity with "weak eyes" in the Philippines in the 1970s and '80s, and of feeling shame for liking boys. She writes with distance about her "derelict" parents--father was absent, mother was a gambler--who in 1990 brought her to the U.S., where "white people thought I was white" and where it was "to my benefit to seem white too." Talusan attended Harvard, where she came out as gay and began exploring drag and her desire to transition. She addresses her sex life, including going to a bathhouse and hooking up with men through personal ads, and talks heartbreakingly of being in a relationship with someone who loved her as a man but not as a woman. Talusan had gender reassignment surgery in Thailand in 2002, but the narrative jumps over the procedure itself; rather, it's about the process of coming into one's own and of gaining "freedom of expression" through gender transition. This elegant memoir examining whiteness, womanhood, and the shaping of identity will resonate with readers of any community, LGBTQ or not. (May)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Talusan, Meredith -- Childhood and youth.
Harvard University -- Students -- Biography.
Transgender youth -- United States -- Biography.
Transgender women -- United States -- Biography.
Filipino American youth -- Biography.
Gay college students -- Massachusetts -- Biography.
Immigrant children -- United States -- Biography.
Albinos and albinism -- United States -- Biography.
Albinos and albinism -- Philippines -- Biography.
Gender identity -- United States -- Psychological aspects.
Publisher [New York, New York] :2020
Language English
Description 310 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN 9780525561309
Other Classic View