Spy Daughter, Queer Girl: In Search of Truth and Acceptance in a Family of Secrets (Paperback)
For Leslie Absher, secrecy is just another member of the family. Throughout childhood, her father's shadowy government job was ill-defined, her mother's mental health stayed off limits--even her queer identity remained hidden from her family and unacknowledged by Leslie herself.
In SPY DAUGHTER, QUEER GIRL, Absher pursues the truth: of her family, her identity, and her father's role in Greece's CIA-backed junta. As a guide, Absher brings readers to the shade of plane trees in Greece, to queer discos in Boston, and to tense diner meals with her aging CIA father. As a memoirist, Absher renders a lifetime of hazy, shapeshifting truths in high-definition vibrance.
Infused with a journalist's tenacity and a daughter's open heart, this book recounts a decades' long process of discovery and the reason why the facts should matter to us all.
Leslie Absher is a journalist and personal essay writer. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Salon, Ms., Greek Reporter, and San Francisco Magazine.
"The fierceness of Absher's courageous quest to learn the gut-wrenching truths of her father's obfuscations parallels her search for her own truths in struggling to know herself as a gay woman....This book is a treasure."
--Kathryn Watterson, author of Women in Prison, Not by the Sword, and I Hear My People Singing
"A riveting examination of identity and how the people who raise us make us-and how we all must continually remake ourselves. A moving portrait of a father-daughter relationship defined by secrets so big they spanned continents. Absher writes with heart, humor, and the grace that comes with forgiveness-the ultimate mission impossible."
--Jessica Pearce Rotondi, author of What We Inherit: A Secret War and a Family's Search for Answers
"Leslie tells her story with soul-searing honesty, plenty of self-deprecation and humour. In working through her own story, confronting her difficult past, she's revealed the human damage - most often to innocents - inflicted by the espionage "game" played out on the global chessboard."
--Ian Callaghan, producer of the Audible Original series My Dad the Spy