Your Face in Mine
By Jess Row
Riverhead Books, Hardcover, 9781594488344, 372pp.
Publication Date: August 14, 2014
List Price: $27.95*
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One afternoon, not long after Kelly Thorndike has moved back to his hometown of Baltimore, an African American man he doesn t recognize calls out to him. To Kelly's shock, the man identifies himself as Martin, who was one of Kelly's closest friends in high school and, before his disappearance nearly twenty years before, skinny, white, and Jewish. Martin then tells an astonishing story: After years of immersing himself in black culture, he's had a plastic surgeon perform racial reassignment surgery altering his hair, skin, and physiognomy to allow him to pass as African American. Unknown to his family or childhood friends, Martin has been living a new life ever since.
Now, however, Martin feels he can no longer keep his new identity a secret; he wants Kelly to help him ignite a controversy that will help sell racial reassignment surgery to the world. Kelly, still recovering from the death of his wife and child and looking for a way to begin anew, agrees, and things quickly begin to spiral out of control.
Inventive and thought-provoking, "Your Face in Mine "is a brilliant novel about cultural and racial alienation and the nature of belonging in a world where identity can be a stigma or a lucrative brand.
What if you could undergo racial reassignment surgery and switch races? That's the premise of a new novel, Your Face in Mine. NPR's Linda Wertheimer speaks with author Jess Row. More at NPR.org
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