Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the


Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging An acclaimed journalist travels the globe to solve the mystery of her ancestry, confronting the question at the heart of the American experience of immigration, race, and identity Who are my people A thoughtful, beautiful meditation on what makes us who we areand the values and ideals that bind us together as AmericansBarack ObamaA rich and revealing memoirFuturefaceraises urgent questions having to do with history and complicity The New York Times Alex Wagner has always been fascinated by stories of exile and migration Her fathers ancestors immigrated to the United States from Ireland and Luxembourg Her mother fled Rangoon in the s, escaping Burmas military dictatorship In her professional life, Wagner reported from the Arizona Mexico border, where agents, drones, cameras, and military hardware guarded the line between two nations She listened to debates about whether the United States should be a melting pot or a salad bowl She knew that moving from one land to anotherand the accompanying recombination of individual and tribal identitieswas the story of America And she was happy that her own mixed race ancestry and late twentieth century education had taught her that identity is mutable and meaningless, a thing we make rather than a thing we are When a cousins offhand comment threw a mystery into her personal storyintroducing the possibility of an exciting new twist in her already complex family historyWagner was suddenly awakened to her own deep hunger to be something, to belong , to havean identity that mattered, a tribe of her own Intoxicated by the possibility, she became determined to investigate her genealogy So she set off on a quest to find the truth about her family history The journey takes Wagner from Burma to Luxembourg, from ruined colonial capitals with records written on banana leaves to Mormon databases and high tech genetic labs As she gets closer to solving the mystery of her own ancestry, she begins to grapple with a deeper question Does it matter Is our enduring obsession with blood and land, race and identity, worth all the trouble its caused us The answers can be found in this deeply personal account of her search for belonging, a meditation on the things that define us as insiders and outsiders and make us think in terms of us and them In this time of conflict over who we are as a country, when so much emphasis is placed on ethnic, religious, and national divisions, Futureface constructs a narrative where we all belong

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