Almost Brown: A Mixed-Race Family Memoir (Hardcover)
"A Canadian masterpiece."--The Toronto Star An award-winning writer retraces her unconventional, biracial, globe-trotting family's journey as she reckons with ethnicity and belonging, diversity and race, and the complexities of life within a multicultural household. Charlotte Gill's father is Indian. Her mother is English. They meet in 1960s London when the world is not quite ready for interracial love. Their union results in a total meltdown of familial relations, a lot of immigration paperwork, and three children, all in varying shades of tan. Together they set off on a journey to Canada and the United States in an elusive pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness--a dream that eventually tears them apart. Almost Brown is an exploration of diasporic intermingling involving two deeply eccentric parents from worlds apart and their half-brown children as they experience the paradoxes and conundrums of life as it's lived between race checkboxes. Their intercultural experiment features turbans and tube socks, chana masala and Cherry Coke, feminist uprisings, racial alliances and divides, a divorce, multiple grudges, and plenty of bad fashion. The family implodes, but after twenty years of silence, father and daughter reclaim a space for forgiveness and love. Almost Brown is a funny, turbulent, and ultimately heartwarming book about the brilliant messiness of a mixed-race family and a search for answers to the question, What are you? Tender and incisive, it is both a deeply personal memoir and an excavation into ethnicity, ancestry, and race--a historical concept that still informs our beliefs about identity today.
CHARLOTTE GILL is a bestselling and award-winning writer of fiction and narrative nonfiction. Ladykiller, her first book, was the recipient of the Danuta Gleed Award for short fiction. Eating Dirt, a tree-planting memoir, was a #1 national bestseller in Canada. Her work has appeared in Vogue and Hazlitt. Gill teaches writing in the MFA program in creative nonfiction at the University of King's College and is the Rogers Communications Chair of Literary Journalism at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. She lives in British Columbia, Canada.