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The Body Papers

Narrated by: Grace Talusan
Length: 6 hrs and 24 mins
5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Born in the Philippines, young Grace Talusan moves with her family to a New England suburb in the 1970s. At school, she confronts racism as one of the few kids with a brown face. At home, the confusion is worse: her grandfather's nightly visits to her room leave her hurt and terrified, and she learns to build a protective wall of silence that maps onto the larger silence practiced by her Catholic Filipino family. Talusan learns as a teenager that her family's legal status in the country has always hung by a thread - for a time, they were "illegal." Family, she's told, must be put first.  

The abuse and trauma Talusan suffers as a child affects all her relationships, her mental health, and her relationship with her own body. Later, she learns that her family history is threaded with violence and abuse. And she discovers another devastating family thread: cancer. Despite all this, she finds love, and success as a teacher. On a fellowship, Talusan and her husband return to the Philippines, where she revisits her family's ancestral home and tries to reclaim a lost piece of herself. 

Contains mature themes.

©2019 Grace Talusan (P)2019 Tantor

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  • MAYA NZ
  • 08-12-19

Beautifully narrated

Grace has an army strong of bravery in her. She not only had the courage to out a patriarch's abuse of her, she wrote about the violence for the public to read. She wrote eloquently, describing every detail which brings the reader to experience her stories vividly. She tackled very important and relevant issues of migration, racism and sexual assault. She creatively describes the nuances of the Filipino culture with respect. She narrates her story with every word properly enunciated including Filipino words but still sounded very genuine. It felt as if she was a friend telling her story over coffee. Thank you Grace for sharing your story and being an inspiration.