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In the Darkroom Hardcover – June 14, 2016

4.2 out of 5 stars 198 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“This book is a masterpiece.”
Ann Patchett

In the Darkroom is an absolute stunner of a memoir―probing, steel-nerved, moving in ways you’d never expect. Ms. Faludi is determined both to demystify the father of her youth―‘a simultaneously inscrutable and volatile presence, a black box and a detonator’―and to re-examine the very notion and nature of identity.”
The New York Times (daily review)

“Penetrating and lucid . . . In the Darkroom is Faludi’s rich, arresting, and ultimately generous investigation of her father.”
The New York Times Book Review (front page)

“A searching investigation of identity barely disguised as a sometimes funny and sometimes very painful family saga. . . .Faludi is a mercilessly droll and careful writer. The emotional incontinence and narcissism that pass for insight and power in memoirs these days is not for her. . . .All the same, I cried quite often as I read her book, and at [one] point, I had to go off and stare at some flowers for a while. . . . An out-and-out masterpiece of its kind.”
The Guardian (UK)

“Faludi's remarkable, moving and courageous book is extremely fair-minded all the way through.”
The Guardian, (U.S. edition)

“It’s a gripping and honest personal journey―bolstered by reams of research―that ultimately transcends family and addresses much bigger questions of identity and reinvention.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Many great writers eventually turn to biography, but rarely does it so directly crash into their lifelong intellectual pursuits. . . . very few can dissect a prevailing cultural norm as well as Faludi can.”
The Washington Post

“In this riveting book about a very complicated subject, Ms. Faludi . . . does a remarkable job tracking down the truth about her father, a person of multiple and contradictory identities . . . Ms. Faludi unfolds her father’s story like the plot of a detective novel.”
The Wall Street Journal

“Moving . . . In the Darkroom is Faludi’s emotionally harrowing quest to understand her dad
. . . Faludi presents her father’s surgery in the context of a complicated, lifelong, protean search for identity.”

“Faludi’s eloquent, timely, and sweeping-yet-intimate new book . . . is a mash-up of genres and themes about family secrets, masculinity and femininity, feminism, violence, the Holocaust, taking revenge. Knitting it all together are questions of identity: Who?or what?makes us who and what we are? How immutable is the end result?”

In the Darkroom is an intensely personal journey for Faludi, and despite the intimate subject matter, she never loses her reportorial edge. . . . Through [her father’s] experiences, Faludi explores the larger questions of transgender politics and sexual identity in a nation whose past has detrimentally shaped its present. In the process, the hard-nosed reporter and feminist is forced to reevaluate the identity she has built as retaliation against an abusive and domineering father.”
Shelf Awareness

“Wow. Susan Faludi's new book is so good. Like a really dry martini. Pow!”
The Observer (UK)

“Astonishing, unique . . . should be essential reading.”
The Irish Independent

“A classic autobiographical quest. . .Especially pertinent reading in these, our own dark times, when questions of identity keep coming to the fore, as matters of life and death.”
NPR, Fresh Air (Maureen Corrigan)

“Ultimately this book is an act of love . . . a fascinating chronicle of a decade spent trying to understand a parent who had always been inscrutable.”
The Economist (UK)

“Susan Faludi weaves together these strands of her father’s identity – Jewishness, nationality, gender – with energy, wit and nuance. . . . It is rare to read anything about anti-Semitism or transgender issues that works so hard to forgo polemic in favour of understanding. . . . Faludi has paid her late father a fine tribute by bringing her to life in such a compelling, truthful story.”
New Statesman (UK)

“Impressive. . .Sometimes reality delivers up not just a remarkable story, but a remarkable story containing a set of parallel motifs that seem too absurdly perfect to be credible. . .the epic battle, and eventually the epic rapprochement, between Susan and [her father] Stefánie?an irresistible force meeting an immovable object. . . .As impossible as her father is, Susan comes to recognize and feel compassion for the bewildering and titanic forces, inside and out, that batter Stefánie’s psyche.”

“A wrought and multi-layered memoir . . . Powerful and absorbing.”
Publishers Weekly (starred)

“Moving and penetrating . . . A gripping exploration of sexual, national, and ethnic identity.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“Extraordinary: part riveting family memoir, part revelatory Holocaust history, but most of all a profound meditation on human identity. . . . In the Darkroom is nothing if not timely. It is also highly significant. . . .We live in an age overflowing with bitter battles over identity?with too little of Susan Faludi’s humane desire to understand.”
National Book Review

“A record of Stefanie Faludi's extraordinary life, and an unsettling interrogation of that modern obsession, identity. . . .Few have asked these questions with such riveting precision.”
The Spectator (UK)

“In the Darkroom is a unique, deeply affecting and beautifully written book, full of warmth, intelligence and. . .humour. It makes a flawless weave of biography and autobiography with an examination of identity politics, Hungarian history, the Holocaust and the reparable bond between parent and child.”
The Saturday Paper (Australia)

About the Author

Susan Faludi is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and the author of The Terror Dream, Stiffed, and Backlash, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. A former reporter for The Wall Street Journal, she has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Harper’s, and The Baffler, among other publications.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.3 pounds
  • Hardcover : 432 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 9780805089080
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0805089080
  • Dimensions : 6.4 x 1.35 x 9.62 inches
  • Publisher : Metropolitan Books; 1st edition (June 14, 2016)
  • ASIN : 080508908X
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 198 ratings

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
198 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on January 5, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on March 20, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on August 23, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on January 21, 2017
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Top reviews from other countries

1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time reading this book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 24, 2018
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Katy P
5.0 out of 5 stars nice English!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 9, 2016
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Deborah M.
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding and deeply moving a beautiful telling
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 29, 2017
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Bobbie Kalman
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book
Reviewed in Canada on April 5, 2017
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3 people found this helpful
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Peter Halas
5.0 out of 5 stars A true story, well told
Reviewed in Australia on September 23, 2017
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