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By Alison Wearing

 “This exquisitely written and deeply compassionate memoir tells the story of a family and a nation at a turning point in their sexual and political awakening. The scope of events and emotions may be operatic, but Wearing captures them all in details that are intimate yet revealing, heartbreaking yet joyous. This is a book for every daughter who loves her father and for everyone who chooses to live (and love) openly and freely.”
-Kamal Al-Solaylee, author of Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes


Wearing_Confessions of a Fairy's Daughter

Alison Wearing’s first book, Honeymoon in Purdah, a memoir about her travels in Iran, was a national bestseller, was translated into several languages, and is still selling well twelve years on.

Alison’s new memoir, Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter, is the story of her father coming out of the closet when she was twelve years old in the late 1970s. Presenting first her perspective, then her father’s diary entries from that time, Alison weaves together a story of confusion and disbelief, puff pastry and opera, bath house raids, scandal and celebration. Balancing intimacy, history and downright hilarity, Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter is a captivating tale of family life: deliciously imperfect, riotously challenging, and full of life’s great lessons in love.

Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter is a universally appealing memoir about everything that matters in a family and to a person. It will appeal to you if you have a gay parent or a straight parent or any parent. If you have a child or were once a child. If you are passionately interested in social history or all you really want is a compelling, beautifully-written story with just the right mix of everything — compassion, discovery, recovery, the occasional (OK, on one occasion) accidental ingestion of hallucinogens on Christmas Day, music, humour, grace.”
-Jamie Zeppa, author of Beyond the Sky and Earth and Every Time We Say Goodbye

Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter had me in tears: first of laughter, then of sadness, then of wonder at life’s strange and marvelous fragility. It is a book both beautiful and true; about the longing for family and for home. Alison Wearing is a hugely talented writer.”
-Alison Pick, author of the Man Booker prize-nominated Far to Go

“With great skill and tenderness and a gorgeously wicked sense of humor, Alison Wearing tells her family’s story from every angle, allowing all to speak with their own voices. This is an important historical document—a portrait of gay life in the 1980s with its bravely fought battles for equality—that doesn’t flinch from showing the collateral damage of homophobia, which still today affects and afflicts the families of so many who are struggling to come out. But it’s also a timeless memoir written by a loving daughter who is finding her own way in the world and learning about the need we all have not just for acceptance, but for true understanding.”
-Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club

“Alison Wearing is blessed with the eye of a lyric poet, the ear of a comic novelist, and a heart capacious enough to tell a complicated love story. Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter caught me from the beginning and held me until its touching conclusion.”
-Katherine Ashenburg, author of The Dirt on Clean and The Mourner’s Dance

“Truth—even when it was brutal when first disclosed more than thirty years ago—becomes an interesting story with time. It becomes art that engages people; that makes them laugh; that resonates with their own untold stories. It can heal. . . . InConfessions of a Fairy’s Daughter, [Wearing] deftly picks apart the complex knots of family—the love, the adventure, the myth, the hurt, the betrayal.”
-Sarah Hampson, The Globe and Mail

“If that kind of change is possible in four decades, where we can feel comfortable, we can come out, we can be who we are, then I have to say that just gives me a lot of hope for the future of this country.”
-Shelagh Rogers, The Next Chapter interview with Alison and her dad

“A candid memoir.”
Waterloo Region Record

“What the book format sacrifices in visual impact and musical ambience it more than makes up for in depth of treatment and the nimbleness, texture and narrative lucidity.”
The Hamilton Spectator

“Wearing writes in a poetic, humorous and heartfelt style.”
The Vancouver Sun

“[Her] family’s long journey from turmoil to acceptance comes to vivid life in Wearing’s new memoir. . . . An engaging and poignant account.”
-Andrea Gordon, Toronto Star

“Alternating personal narratives from her own perspective with that of her mother and her father, Confessions is a fascinating portrait of an evolving society and the conflict of one man to be true to himself while being a devoted father.”
Zoomer Magazine

Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter is a tender, often amusing memoir. Wearing’s affection for her parents, and her desire to understand them, shine through and add emotional weight to their stories. I can’t even begin to comprehend the struggles gay individuals face today, never mind in the 1980s when homosexuality was just starting to fight for acceptance. But in Wearing’s book at least, love seems to go quite a long way.”
Literary Treats

“A fascinating and comical telling of what it meant to grow up with a gay father in Peterborough in the 1980s when there was no such thing as a gay community there. . . . There are not many books like Wearing’s. It shines a light on how she, her family and the gay movement were left groping in the dark until they finally found their way personally and politically. . . . Her book is hilarious, sad, thoughtful, sensitive and honest.”
The London Free Press

“A loving tribute to [Wearing’s] dad and a touching coming-of-age story in and of itself. . . . A tenderly honest and notably humorous account.”
Winnipeg Free Press

“A beautiful book.”
-Mitchell Marcus, artistic director of Acting Up Stage Company

“Part memoir, part history book, part diary and all parts heart. Alison Wearing weaves a tale that celebrates the complexities of who we are and the families we hold close. Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter is painful, tender, poignant and—most important—beautifully honest.”
-Brian Francis, author of Natural Order

“A memoir about what is at heart, averaged out over time, a happy family. How interesting can that be? As it turns out, very.”
The Gazette

“Funny and moving memoir.”

“In this uniquely crafted . . . narrative . . . not only are the specific (sometimes hilariously cliché) repercussions of having a gay father in 1970s suburban Ontario explored, but along with it Toronto’s nascent gay scene and its effect on both participants and their families. In a respectfully literary but pragmatic tone, this book challenges the stereotypes of gay parents, while presenting the story of a man who, at a glance, embodies them all. Most poignantly, it chronicles Wearing’s own ‘coming out’ as the daughter of a gay man.”
The Coast (Halifax)

“A moving memoir.”


Knopf Canada, Spring 2013



An OUT Must-Have Summer Book 2013

A rukkle Best Gay Book Summer 2013

Featured in the Quill & Quire Spring Preview 2013

Longlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize

Shortlisted for the Edna Staebler Creative Non-Fiction Award

Other Books by Alison Wearing