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Bestseller In The Dark Room: Susan Faludi about how her father became a woman

Jana Fikotová
05.Nov 2018
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2 minutes
Susan Faludi

Susan Faludi’s autobiographic story titled “In The Dark Room” describes today’s world and the changes that take place in it. The main topic of this book is nothing other than the fact that the author’s own father becomes a woman. American author and reporter Susan Faludi was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her book titled In The Dark Room, which describes her family’s private life.

Susan and Stefanie
Bestseller In The Dark Room
Susan Faludi

One e-mail changed her life!

It was 2004. Susan had not been in close contact with her father since her parents divorced, which was why she was very surprised to receive an e-mail with the subject “changes”. She remembered her father as a classic example of an American man from the suburbs, who was used to having everything under control and sometimes had slightly violent tendencies. In his letter he wrote that he had decided to change his identity - radically. He underwent gender reassignment surgery at the age of 76. The fearless, macho man named Steven suddenly became a woman in a dress, who started to call herself Stephanie!

Prodej luxusního bytu s terasou, Praha 8
Prodej luxusního bytu s terasou, Praha 8, Praha 8

How could something so crazy happen to her father?

Susan Faludi couldn’t understand what had happened. Her father was a mountaineer in the Alps, an adventurer. So she decided to start looking for answers in his past, when she had been a young girl.

She returned to Budapest, the city of her father’s birth. Surprisingly, after many years of not seeing each other, the meeting between father and daughter was not as fearful as she had initially thought it would be. Conversations about shopping, make-up and other feminine matters brought them closer again and they began to visit each other regularly. The writer became familiar with another side of her father and her father learnt to see his daughter from a woman’s viewpoint. Her father taught her Hungarian and she managed to penetrate into his inner self.

A story about understanding

She realised that she would have to write about the story from the very first moment she received the e-mail. However, she didn’t want to write about anything she had not investigated herself, so she decided to write a story about understanding. The Wall Street Journal wrote about her book as being very interesting, mainly because the author is capable of describing a very sensitive topic in the form of a detective novel.

Susan Faludi was awarded the Pulitzer Award in 1991 in the Explanatory Journalism category for which In The Dark Room was nominated. In 2016 the book was awarded the Kirkus Prize and the New York Times Book Review rated it one of the ten best books of the year. Faludi was born in 1959 in Queens in New York. She graduated from Harvard University and subsequently became a reporter.

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