In the Darkroom

In the Darkroom

Book - 2016 | First edition
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In 2004, Faludi learned that her estranged father had undergone sex reassignment surgery. She examines how this new parent was connected to the father she had known.
Publisher: New York :, Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company,, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780805089080
080508908X
Branch Call Number: 818.603 FAL NVD
Characteristics: 417 pages ; 25 cm

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maryellenwilson
Apr 04, 2019

Amazing book by Susan Faludi (she is a photo-journalist) about her father Stefan Faludi -- Hungarian (lots of Hungarian history & politics. Jewish -- saved his parents from Nazis by pretending to be a brown shirt; marched them out of Budapest at gun point & got them across the border. After the war came to America -- worked for Conde Nast in NYC -- all the big fashion photographers wanted only Faludi to print their photographs. Finally married; moved to the Midwest? Two children -- Susan & a brother. Very violent man; beat his wife and when she & the children finally left him; broke into their house and stabbed the man she was seeing and terrorized the children. When Susan last saw him she was a late teen/early 20s. They were estranged for 25 years until she got an email from him telling her that he was back in Budapest and had had transgender re-assignment and was now Stephanie & she should come and visit him/her and write her story. Still a very controlling person and evasive -- she was in her early 70s now. It was so strange to read the book, Susan would say, "My father, she..." A group of male to female people in their 60s & 70s reveling in how wonderful it was to be a woman and be "taken care of" and not have to do difficult things because all the men would do them now. (Very 1950s -- strange and many of them were not happy). Stephanie was still petitioning the Hungarian government for the return of several houses in Budapest that were confiscated during the war. I don't know where her money came from, but money was no object -- she lived in a fortress outside of town & had moved Stefan's entire darkroom set up from New York to an attic in her estate. After visiting on & off for several years Susan was finally able to get some "straight" answers about the past and Stefan's family. Very interesting!

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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