12 August 2014

For Today I Am a Boy

‘My father stole all our secrets and kept his own’.

Peter Huang could hide nothing from his overbearing and hypocritical father. Not even his sorrow at being a failure in his father’s eyes.  The only son born into a traditional Chinese-Canadian family, from a very young age Peter wanted to be like his three sisters. He hated his ‘thing’ that kept him from his real gender. As an adult, within a few fleeting relationships before being used and abandoned, he experiences fragments of the love and identity he longs for.

His mother is locked inside herself; a dutiful and subservient wife without a voice. ‘A strange, disappointing family’, the girls finally move far away from their parents, each searching for a sense of place and belonging. Peter escapes into his cookery which he embraces with a passion, and thus finds his own kind of freedom.

This deeply moving story with its unique subject matter that incorporates gender identity, sexual prejudice and cross-cultural dilemmas, makes sad, painful yet riveting reading, as it addresses the individual battle of each person to fit into a space in life, and the choices they make to claim that space.

Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Title: For Today I am a Boy
Author: Kim Fu
Publisher: Random House $32.95 RRP
Publication Date: March 2014
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781742758169
Type: Adult Fiction

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