The first will be Riot Days by Maria Alyokhina:
- a blast of rebellious revelations and an unquenchable punk-rock spirit. It's something else.
And then there's Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming:
- extraordinary in a completely different way
- emotionally raw, and yet hopeful.
Their band was called Pussy Riot.
Many Travellers find this offensive, and consider it a racial slur.
I think this is one that EVERYONE should read.
Not My Father's Son is actor, and LGBTQ+ icon*, Alan Cumming's, tale of his childhood, and the parts of his adulthood that have been spent trying to come to terms with it.
*Identifies as bisexual/sexually fluid, with bi being his primary ID.
Unlike most celebrity books, this isn't a simple 'look how far I've come' autobiography.
This is a brutally honest memoir, focussed around the physical and emotional child abuse he suffered at the hands of his father.
As you can imagine, there's some heavy-hitting stuff going on here, so please, please, PLEASE, be careful when reading.
What's really and truly refreshing about this book is how emotionally healthy it is: Alan Cumming is a man who is willing to talk about feelings.
If anything, this is something we could do with more of - a man willing to speak tenderly about those he loves and cares about, and openly about the things which hurt and have hurt him.
That is simply beautiful, and a type of strength that is harder-won than anything you go to the gym for.
I actually audiobooked* this; it was narrated by Alan Cumming, and I think that really gave an oomph to the emotion.
Unfortunately, from time to time Cumming slipped into faux-accents when speaking the dialogue of African or Asian people...
*Winces.* It didn't happen often, but... it's really Not Good.
*It's totally a word now. #DealWithIt.
Major warnings here for: child abuse (physical, emotional,) mental health problems including eating disorders, manipulation, family problems, extreme emotional distress.
Also, references to pre-revelations Harvey Weinstein are awkward af.
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