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Futureface by Alex Wagner
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Futureface

A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging

$28.00 USD

Get for $14.99 with membership
Narrator Alex Wagner
Length 8 hours 59 minutes
Language English
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An acclaimed journalist travels the globe to solve the mystery of her ancestry, confronting the question at the heart of the American experience of immigration, race, and identity: Who are my people?

“A thoughtful, beautiful meditation on what makes us who we are . . . and the values and ideals that bind us together as Americans.”—Barack Obama

“A rich and revealing memoir . . . Futureface raises urgent questions having to do with history and complicity.”—The New York Times

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 of 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. The journey takes her from Burma to Luxembourg, from ruined colonial capitals with records written on banana leaves to Mormon databases, genetic labs, and the rest of the twenty-first-century genealogy complex. But soon she begins to grapple with a deeper question: Does it matter? Is our enduring obsession with blood and land, race and identity, worth all the trouble it’s caused us?

Wagner weaves together fascinating history, genetic science, and sociology but is really after deeper stuff than her own ancestry: in a time of conflict over who we are as a country, she tries to find the story where we all belong.

Praise for Futureface

“Smart, searching . . . Meditating on our ancestors, as Wagner’s own story shows, can suggest better ways of being ourselves.”—Maud Newton, The New York Times Book Review

“Sincere and instructive . . . This timely reflection on American identity, with a bonus exposé of DNA ancestry testing, deserves a wide audience.”Library Journal

“The narrative is part  Mary Roach–style participation-heavy research, part family history, and part exploration of existential loneliness. . . . The journey is worth taking.”—Kirkus Reviews

“[A] ruminative exploration of ethnicity and identity . . . Wagner’s odyssey is an effective riposte to anti-immigrant politics.”Publishers Weekly 

ALEX WAGNER is a senior editor at The Atlantic and special correspondent for CBS News. She was formerly the host of MSNBC's Emmy-nominated NOW with Alex Wagner. Wagner makes frequent TV appearances, from MSNBC's Morning Joe, to the Today show, Real Time With Bill Maher and more. She has been profiled by Vogue, Glamour, Elle and Details magazines. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

ALEX WAGNER is a senior editor at The Atlantic and special correspondent for CBS News. She was formerly the host of MSNBC's Emmy-nominated NOW with Alex Wagner. Wagner makes frequent TV appearances, from MSNBC's Morning Joe, to the Today show, Real Time With Bill Maher and more. She has been profiled by Vogue, Glamour, Elle and Details magazines. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Credit bundles

Gift audiobooks to anyone in the world from the comfort of your home. You choose the credit bundle (3, 6, or 12), your gift recipient picks their own audiobooks, and local bookstores is supported by your purchase.

Start gifting Libro.fm app with a bow

Reviews

Futureface raises urgent questions having to do with history and complicity. . . . A rich and revealing memoir.”The New York Times

“A thoughtful, beautiful meditation on what makes us who we are . . . and the values and ideals that bind us together as Americans.”—Barack Obama

“Smart, searching . . . Meditating on our ancestors, as Wagner’s own story shows, can suggest better ways of being ourselves.”—Maud Newton, The New York Times Book Review

“Sincere and instructive . . . This timely reflection on American identity, with a bonus exposé of DNA ancestry testing, deserves a wide audience.”Library Journal

“The narrative is part Mary Roach–style participation-heavy research, part family history, and part exploration of existential loneliness. . . . The journey is worth taking.”—Kirkus Reviews

“[A] ruminative exploration of ethnicity and identity . . . Wagner’s odyssey is an effective riposte to anti-immigrant politics.”Publishers Weekly 

“Alex Wagner is brilliant and hilarious. Futureface is a magic trick: She starts with the humble story of a third-culture kid’s existential loneliness and ends with a smart, timely, and moving exploration of family lies, exile and immigration, genetics, and the mystery of human belonging.”—Eddie Huang, bestselling author of Fresh Off the Boat
 
Futureface is an important contribution to the American conversation—Alex Wagner’s story is insightful, moving, informative, and searing. I have deeply admired Alex for a long time as an original thinker, a keenly observant journalist, and a funny, empathetic human being. Read this book and you’ll understand why.”—Wes Moore, bestselling author of The Other Wes Moore Expand reviews