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Extended Audio Sample In the Darkroom Audiobook, by Susan Faludi Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Susan Faludi Narrator: Laurel Lefkow Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2016 ISBN: 9781504789271
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From the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and bestselling author of Backlash, comes In the Darkroom, an astonishing confrontation with the enigma of her father and the larger riddle of identity consuming our age.

“In the summer of 2004 I set out to investigate someone I scarcely knew, my father. The project began with a grievance, the grievance of a daughter whose parent had absconded from her life. I was in pursuit of a scofflaw, an artful dodger who had skipped out on so many things―obligation, affection, culpability, contrition. I was preparing an indictment, amassing discovery for a trial. But somewhere along the line, the prosecutor became a witness.”

So begins Susan Faludi’s extraordinary inquiry into the meaning of identity in the modern world and in her own haunted family saga. When the feminist writer learned her seventy-six-year-old father―long estranged and living in Hungary―had undergone sex reassignment surgery, that investigation would turn personal and urgent. How was this new parent who identified as “a complete woman now” connected to the silent, explosive, and ultimately violent father she had known?

Faludi chases that mystery into the recesses of her childhood and her father’s many incarnations: American dad, Alpine mountaineer, swashbuckling adventurer in the Amazon outback, Jewish fugitive in Holocaust Budapest. When the author travels to Hungary to reunite with her father, she drops into a labyrinth of dark histories and dangerous politics in a country hell-bent on repressing its past and constructing a fanciful―and virulent―nationhood. The search for identity that has transfixed our century was proving as treacherous for nations as for individuals.

Faludi’s struggle to come to grips with her father’s metamorphosis self takes her across borders―historical, political, religious, sexual—to bring her face to face with the question of the age: Is identity something you “choose,” or a thing you can’t escape?

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Quotes & Awards

  • In the Darkroom is a compelling, lyrical, and candid exploration of identity, gender, and the intensely complex relationship between a transgendered father and her daughter. More than memoir, or biography, it’s a detective story with two unforgettable characters…[and] a landmark achievement in which Faludi uses her well-honed journalistic talents to tell the most intimate story she could possibly tell, her father’s journey into womanhood.”

    Kirkus Reviews’ Judges’ Statement

  • “A gripping and honest personal journey.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “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 this riveting book…Ms. Faludi unfolds her father’s story like the plot of a detective novel.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “An absolute stunner of a memoir―probing, steel-nerved, moving in ways you’d never expect.”

    New York Times

  • “Penetrating and lucid…Faludi’s rich, arresting, and ultimately generous investigation of her father.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A remarkable story containing a set of parallel motifs that seem too absurdly perfect to be credible.”


  • “Extraordinary. Part riveting family memoir, part revelatory Holocaust history, but most of all a profound meditation on human identity.”

    National Book Review

  • “Remarkable, moving, and courageous.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “Astonishing, unique…should be essential reading.“

    Irish Independent

  • “Moving and penetrating…A gripping exploration of sexual, national, and ethnic identity.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “A wrought and multi-layered memoir…Powerful and absorbing.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Narrator Laurel Lefkow shines most brightly when recounting the most difficult moments of Susan Faludi’s life… Lefkow captures moments of fragility and nuance as Susan’s father, now Stefi, overshares some information while deliberately avoiding and obscuring other events…Lefkow ably handles the passages of exposition, giving extensive background on gender identity, anti-Semitism, and the Jewish experience in Europe during WWII. This immersive story about a father and daughter illuminates so much more.”


  • Winner of the 2016 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction
  • An Elle Magazine Pick of the Best Books of 2016 (So Far)
  • A Harper’s Bazaar Pick of the Best Books of 2016 
  • A 2016 New York Times Book Review Notable Book
  • A 2016 New York Times Book Review Top 10 Book of the Year
  • A Library Journal Best Book of 2016, Top 10 Selection
  • An O Magazine Pick
  • A 2017 ALA Notable Book
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About the Author
Author Susan Faludi

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.

About the Narrator

Laurel Lefkow is an accomplished radio actress and winner of several AudioFile Earphones Awards for audiobook narration. Her many theater credits include Look Back in Anger, Little Foxes, The Heiress, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Boy Next Door. On television she can be seen in A Class Act, Small Metal Jacket, and The Perfect Family.