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Elliot Page’s ‘Pageboy’: A powerful and humanizing memoir – Book Review.

Elliot Page’s ‘Pageboy’: A powerful and humanizing memoir – Book Review.

Elliot Page’s debut memoir “Pageboy” (Flatiron Books) has been highly anticipated but, in the end, it didn’t live up to the hype. However, it’s better this way as it humanizes the larger-than-life subject. The book follows a nonlinear narrative, “because queerness is intrinsically nonlinear,” as warned by the author himself in the beginning. The story jumps from memory to memory, following a thread that crisscrosses his life. Page comes across as a normal guy telling a meandering story that often dips into intimate, raw and powerful anecdotes.

Growing up splitting his time between divorced parents, Page describes a childhood that amounts to death by a thousand cuts. He faced bullies at school, toxic family dynamics, a stalker, and a reoccurring lack of support and understanding. The bad is presented alongside the good. Page drops tidbits of fascinating knowledge, niche cultural insights, and little-known historical background.

If you’re looking for a tell-all, know that Page respects people in their own journeys and leaves many of his former lovers and hookups unnamed. However, he reveals intimate details about his relationship with actor Kate Mara, whose name appears in the acknowledgements among a list of friends Page reached out to while writing the book.

Page candidly describes time after time when people mistreated him, a long string of awful vignettes. Sexual assault is outlined clinically, slurs and verbal abuse repeated verbatim. But the same candid verbiage applies to happy times, too.

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On the whole, reading “Pageboy” is like listening to a friend. And by the time you reach the end, you come to realize the truth in his words: “I wouldn’t be typing this right now if it weren’t for you and your care.”

Between the timely release of “Pageboy” at the start of Pride Month and the growing onslaught of legislation targeting trans rights, now is an excellent time to read this humanizing and well-written memoir.

© 2020 CANDOUR

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