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Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption
by Jane Jeong Trenka, Julia Chinyere Oparah, Sun Yung Shin (eds.)

AVAILABILITY: Usually ships within 2-5 days

Publication Date: 2006
Publisher: South End Press
Binding: Paperback
Topics: Family / Parenting, Race & Civil Rights, United States
Condition: Special Sale

Description: You must have seen one -they're everywhere. Photo blow-ups of Hollywood star Angelina Jolie and Zahara, the child she adopted from Ethiopia, both beaming. "Saved by a Mother's Love" - it's People's cover story. Zahara, we're told, is thriving. Nothing is said of the grandmother who tried to keep her, broken ties, loss. Adoption is a win-win. Right?

Healthy white infants have become hard to locate and expensive to adopt. So people from around the world turn to interracial and intercountry adoption, often, like Jolie, with the idea that while growing their families, they're saving children from destitution. But as 'Outsiders Within' reveals, while transracial adoption is a practice traditionally considered benevolent, it often exacts a heavy emotional, cultural, and even economic toll.

Through compelling essays, fiction, poetry, and art, the contributors to this landmark publication carefully explore this most intimate aspect of globalization. Finally, in the unmediated voices of the adults who have matured within it, we find a rarely-considered view of adoption, an institution that pulls apart old families and identities and grafts new ones.

Moving beyond personal narrative, these transracially adopted writers from around the world tackle difficult questions about how to survive the racist and ethnocentric worlds they inhabit, what connects the countries relinquishing their children to the countries importing them, why poor families of color have their children removed rather than supported - about who, ultimately, they are.

In their inquiry, they unseat conventional understandings of adoption politics, ultimately reframing the controversy as a debate that encompasses human rights, peace, and reproductive justice.

Jane Jeong Trenka was born in Seoul, Korea. She and her sister were adopted into a white family in rural northern Minnesota in 1972. She was reunited with her birth family in 1995. Jane is the author of 'The Language of Blood: A Memoir,' published by Borealis Books, as well as the forthcoming 'Fugitive Visions,' to be published by Graywolf Press in Spring 2007. She has received numerous awards for her writing, including selection for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers program.

Jane Jeong Trenka has received fellowships from the Jerome Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Loft Literary Center, the Blacklock Nature Sanctuary, and SASE: the Write Place. Cited by the City Pages as "Best Book by a Local Author" and by the Minnesota Humanities Commission for a "New Voice" commendation, 'The Language of Blood' received the Minnesota Book Award for Autobiography/Memoir and was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection.

Julia Chinyere Oparah is a professor of Ethnic Studies at Mills College, a women's liberal arts college in Oakland, California, author (under her previous name, Julia Sudbury) of 'Other Kinds of Dreams: Black Women's Organisations' and the 'Politics of Transformation' (Routledge 1998) and editor of 'Global Lockdown: Race, Gender and the Prison-Industrial Complex' (Routledge 2005).

Oparah is involved in the prison abolitionist, anti-violence and global justice movements and is a co-founder of Sankofa, a support group for transracial adoptees in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Sun Yung Shin was born in Seoul, Korea and was adopted at thirteen months old by a Polish-Irish-German Catholic American family in the Chicago area. Sun Yung is a poet, teacher, and freelance writer. Her bilingual children's book, 'Cooper's Lesson' (published by Children's Book Press), is illustrated by Korean American artist Kim Cogan with Korean translations by Min Paek, author of 'Aekyung's Dream.' She lives with her husband (who is a domestic kept-in-the-family adoptee from Chicago), outdoor-sports journalist Christopher Cross, and their two children in Minneapolis.

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