Beyond the Pale

Beyond the Pale

Folklore, Family, and the Mystery of Our Hidden Genes

Book - 2015
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Like any new mother, Emily is thrilled when her first child, a daughter, is born. The baby, Sadie, is healthy and stunningly beautiful, with snow white hair and fair skin. Even the doctors and nurses can't help a second look at this magical child. But soon a darker current begins to emerge--something is amiss. After three months of testing, Sadie is diagnosed with albinism, a rare genetic condition.

Emily, a folklore scholar and an award-winning journalist, is accustomed to understanding and processing the world through stories. With Sadie at her side, Emily researches the cultural beliefs surrounding albinism and finds a curious history of outlandish tales of magic, and of good and evil reaching back through time, along with present-day atrocities. In some parts of the world, people with albinism are stalked; their condition is seen to bring luck and health as well as danger and death. Investigating the different reactions, in different cultures, to those with albinism, Emily begins to see her child as a connection between worlds.

Part memoir, part cultural critique, and part genetic travelogue, Beyond the Pale is a brave, intimate investigation into the secret histories that each of us carries in our genes and an inspiring and beautiful memoir about parenting a child with a disability--and building a better future for that child.

Publisher: Toronto : HarperAvenue, 2015.
ISBN: 9781443423564
Branch Call Number: 616.55 Urq
Characteristics: 282 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 24 cm.


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Dec 08, 2015

A lot more about her travels to visit persons with albinism and less about the actual the actual condition. Still, there was some interesting information on the condition and cultural reactions to those with albinism.

May 08, 2015

"While [the book]... was inspired by one tiny girl, [it] covers broad ground. It is an honest memoir of a loving and protective mother...and serves as an homage to survivors of horrific violence ...[It is also] a study of how longheld cultural beliefs drive the idea of difference or "the other". " Sue Carter Flinn Q&Q March 2015.

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