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Beyond The Pale

Folklore, Family, and the Mystery of Our Hidden Genes

B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction - Longlisted

BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction - Shortlisted

Selected for the Globe and Mail's Best Books of 2015

Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Award - Shortlisted

About the Book

Like any new mother, Emily is thrilled when her first child, a daughter, is born. The baby, Sadie, is healthy and stunningly beautiful, with snow white hair and fair skin. Even the doctors and nurses can’t help a second look at this magical child. But soon a darker current begins to emerge—something is amiss. After three months of testing, Sadie is diagnosed with albinism, a rare genetic condition.

Emily, a folklore scholar and an award-winning journalist, is accustomed to understanding and processing the world through stories. With Sadie at her side, Emily researches the cultural beliefs surrounding albinism and finds a curious history of outlandish tales of magic, and of good and evil reaching back through time, along with present-day atrocities. In some parts of the world, people with albinism are stalked; their condition is seen to bring luck and health as well as danger and death. Investigating the different reactions, in different cultures, to those with albinism, Emily begins to see her child as a connection between worlds.

Part memoir, part cultural critique, and part genetic travelogue, Beyond the Pale is a brave, intimate investigation into the secret histories that each of us carries in our genes and an inspiring and beautiful memoir about parenting a child with a disability—and building a better future for that child.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443423564
  • ISBN 10: 1443423564
  • Imprint: HarperAvenue
  • On Sale: 03/31/2015
  • Pages: 288
  • List Price: 29.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs

Beyond The Pale by Emily Urquhart

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