Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging Pdf Summary
A journalist travels the globe searching for answers to the mystery of her own ancestry, along the way raising deeper questions about the American experience of race, immigration, exile, and identity.
The daughter of a Burmese mother and a white American father, Alex Wagner grew up thinking of herself as a “futureface”—an avatar of a mixed-race future when all races would merge into a brown singularity. But when one family mystery leads to another, Wagner’s post-racial ideals fray as she becomes obsessed with the specifics her own family’s racial and ethnic history. Drawn into the wild world of ancestry, she embarks upon a quest around the world—and into her own DNA—to answer the ultimate questions of who she really is and where she belongs.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Told the story about Burma as it is…
Reviewed in the United States on June 5, 2018
I had a different expectation and her story had a great beginning but I began to lose interest halfway through and ending fell flat for me. I guess I was hoping to find some sort of revelation or comfort….or answer? Her family is like many others immigrants, all came to the US to leave the old life to start a new one, but after awhile people forget why their families left in the first place and repeat the history here. I bought this book because my parents told me that Alex sounded just like me, and I would enjoy reading it. I did. I think Alex should write about history of Burma to present days. Most people don’t know about Burma but there is something to be learned about the human race. I would like Alex to write about the lasting affect of colonialism and why countries like Burma can’t dig themselves out from that mentality.
I’m from Burma and I too have struggled with belonging, but mine started in Burma and continued while growing up in the US. Majority of our family in Burma looked more like middle eastern or south Asian, so although we looked more Burmese, when people found out that we were Muslims and we weren’t pure Burmese, people referred to us kala….it’s like calling Mexicans wet backs. So much of what Alex wrote is accurate about Burmese nationalism; and amazingly, we’re seeing this here in the US. Nationalism is BS in this era when majority of people are not what they appear to be. We live in a world where people label you by your appearance and you will never be accepted as just an American. I joined the Army to prove that I belong; and the funny thing is that people talk about assimilation or immigrants inability to assimilate, but how can you when people can’t help but to ask any non-white person they meet the same questions about race and nationality. My kids are half Puerto Rican and because they were born in Texas, they tell people their Texans when people ask them what they are. As for the DNA tests, if you’re mixed with white Caucasian, you bring up what percentage of yourself is brown/black/yellow/red when you’re in company of non-white people. You will always struggle with belongingness if you don’t look like the majority or the dominant groups.
3.0 out of 5 stars Enamored With Words
Reviewed in the United States on July 8, 2018
Alex Wagner is a charming TV personality–pretty enough, bright enough, certainly self-confident enough, or so she seems in her high-profile job. But even when she anchored an opinion show she always seemed to me too enamored of the words she was using to focus on the meaning of her questions and answers, and this book echoes that self-consciousness. If she uses a big word she tends to back up and throw in a few synonyms and grin about her extensive vocabulary. In FUTUREFACE she doesn’t want so much to tell the reader her story and to examine the biggest words she can find with which to tell it. Her story is complicated enough without the word play. And it is an interesting story. I too had reasons to believe my father might have Jewish blood, and I too was thwarted in my quest to find if that were true. But in my case there simply was not a book there, and the way Alex does it she takes a whole book to come to the same conclusion. I tried, but could not stay with this attempt to be cute about something that might be quite serious. Yes, she’s smart. Yes, she’s clever. FUTUREFACE might be the forerunner of a good book, but in itself it just isn’t one.
5.0 out of 5 stars Revelatory
Reviewed in the United States on April 7, 2021
In addition to an informative sketch of recent history of Burma–and an explanation of the attempted name change to “Myanmar,” which is not universally accepted, Wagner shows from her own research into what might be called the “ancestry industry” (my term) that the results the customer pays for their DNA analysis is based on shockingly small samples of DNA and arbitrary identification of places of origin. My own conclusion from that is that you may be wasting your money if you are trying to pinpoint where your ancestors were from.
5.0 out of 5 stars Who are we? Maybe we can decide for ourselves
Reviewed in the United States on July 5, 2018
I liked this book very much. Alex’s personality shines through nicely, it’s a fun, nerdy wit. I agree with some of the other reviewers that there isn’t a big “a-ha” revelatory moment, but that is also the point. We do identify and identify with race, but the conclusions we may draw from anything we go out looking for may fall flat, whether it’s delving into history books, or getting shaky science DNA tests.
We are all on earth biding time till death, it’s a personal journey, whatever we are to make of it, whatever history we want to tie ourselves to, whatever history we want to make for ourselves, it’s up to us.
I like the idea another reviewer had, that Alex could go on to become a Burmese historian, there is a lot of unknown there. Definitely a lot of work!
About Alex Wagner Author Of Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging Pdf Book
Alexandra Swe Wagner is an American journalist and author. She is the co-host of The Circus on Showtime and the author of FutureFace: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging. She is also a contributor for CBS News and a contributing editor at The Atlantic.
Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging pdf, Paperback, Hardcover Book Information
- Publisher : One World; 1st Edition (April 17, 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0812997948
- ISBN-13 : 978-0812997941
- Item Weight : 1.05 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #192,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #218 in Emigration & Immigration Studies (Books)
- #418 in Television Performer Biographies
- #9,987 in Memoirs (Books)
- Customer Reviews: 3.9 out of 5 stars 76 ratings
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