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We Wear the Mask: 15 True Stories of Passing in America Paperback – 10 October 2017
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For some, "passing" means opportunity, access, or safety. Others don't willingly pass but are "passed" in specific situations by someone else. We Wear the Mask, edited by Brando Skyhorse and Lisa Page, is an illuminating and timely anthology that examines the complex reality of passing in America.
Skyhorse, a Mexican American, writes about how his mother passed him as an American Indian before he learned who he really is. Page shares how her white mother didn't tell friends about her black ex-husband or that her children were, in fact, biracial.
The anthology includes writing from Gabrielle Bellot, who shares the disquieting truths of passing as a woman after coming out as trans, and MG Lord, who, after the murder of her female lover, embraced heterosexuality. Patrick Rosal writes of how he "accidentally" passes as a waiter at the National Book Awards ceremony, and Rafia Zakaria agonizes over her Muslim American identity while traveling through domestic and international airports. Other writers include Trey Ellis, Marc Fitten, Susan Golomb, Margo Jefferson, Achy Obejas, Clarence Page, Sergio Troncoso, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, and Teresa Wiltz.
About the Author
Lisa Page directs the creative writing program at George Washington University where she is assistant professor of English. Her work has appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review, American Short Fiction, the Crisis, Playboy, and the Washington Post Book World.
- Publisher : Beacon Press (10 October 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 216 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0807078980
- ISBN-13 : 978-0807078983
- Dimensions : 13.89 x 1.4 x 21.51 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 794,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I spent most of my own life passing as a heterosexual man. I was a bit surprised that none of the stories in the book involve this; perhaps the traditional male coming-of-age tale is all too common to be included here. We do encounter a couple of lesbians and transgender people. Most of the life stories involve ethnicity of various sorts. The stories are fascinating in their own right, especially the astonishing experiences of Brando Skyhorse, one of the co-editors. Perhaps the most significant thing is how the book shakes up your notions of what it means, exactly, to present yourself as a member of a particular category. What does it mean to "be" or to "pretend to be" someone or something. Lots of good reading and food for thought.