The Ginger Child: On Family, Loss and Adoption (Hardback)Patrick Flanery (author)
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A raw and heart-wrenching literary memoir about a queer couple's attempt to adopt a child.
But would you take a ginger child? a social worker asks Patrick Flanery as he and his husband embark on their four-year odyssey of trying to adopt. This curious question comes to haunt the journey, which Flanery recounts with startling candour as he explores what it means to make a family as a queer couple, to be an outsider in a foreign country, to grapple with the inheritance of intergenerational loss, and to discover that the emotions we feel are sometimes as mysterious to ourselves as to others.
This uniquely powerful book moves deftly between heartbreaking memoir and illuminating meditation on parenting, adoption and queerness in contemporary culture, stopping along the way to consider recent science fiction film, camp horror television, fiction and visual art. At the end, which could also be the beginning of a new journey, Flanery asks whether we might all imagine ourselves as ginger children-fragile, sensitive, more easily hurt than we think possible, but with the hope that we are also survivors, with greater powers of resilience than we know.
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 450 g
Dimensions: 217 x 155 x 35 mm
The Ginger Child is completely fascinating. I don't think I've ever read such a self-lacerating book about how an ostensibly straightforward desire - to have kids - is policed and politicized, and how operating outside the norm throws one up against one's own shortcomings. It is shocking, and consoling, in its honesty. A book that will certainly change the landscape of adoption literature but more broadly should be read by everyone who has - or has ever wanted - kids. -- Emma Brockes
The Ginger Child is a real eye-opener; reading it you wonder how anyone manages to persevere in the adoption process at all. Patrick Flanery details the extraordinary journey of one queer couple trying to adopt in contemporary Britain and the often absurd challenges they face along the way. The book, whilst sometimes harrowing, even jaw-dropping, since you share Patrick and Andrew's journey alongside them, is also beautiful in its quiet indignation and lucid honesty. Exquisitely written - it pulls off quite a feat in that it is as compelling as it is lyrical - this is a book to be savoured by everyone interested in the shaping of family, in loss, in the joy of discovery, in love - meaning that this is a must-read for everyone. -- Jackie Kay
A rare, brilliant and essential exploration of adoption in queer families, and one of the most significant additions to the canon of queer literature in years. -- John D'Agata
Flanery is a master of puzzling, alarming and even terrifying storytelling. * A.S Byatt, Guardian *
Patrick Flanery is an exceptionally gifted novelist. * Philip Gourevitch, New Yorker *