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Summary

A Guardian, Sunday Times, Evening Standard and Cosmopolitan book of the year for 2021

'Ideas from our parents form the backbone to our identities, the bedrock to personal truths that we recite and remember like prayers from Church or poems from school. But they condition us in more powerful ways than lessons from any book or religion ever could. Now the tale had been destroyed. So what did that mean about who I thought I was?'

In Georgina Lawton's childhood home, her Blackness was never acknowledged; the obvious fact of her brown skin, ignored by her white parents. Over time, secrets and a complex family story became accepted as truth and Georgina found herself complicit in the erasure of her racial identity. 

It was only when her beloved father died that the truth began to emerge. Fleeing the shattered pieces of her family life and the comfortable, suburban home she grew up in, at age 22 Georgina went in search of answers - embarking on a journey that took her around the world, to the DNA testing industry, and to countless others, whose identities have been questioned, denied or erased.

What do you do when your heritage or parentage has been obscured in a complex web of deceit?

How can you discuss race with your family, when you each see the world differently?

When a personal identity has been wrongly constructed, how do you start again? Raceless is both the compelling personal account of a young woman seeking her own story amid devastating family secrets, and a fascinating, challenging and essential examination of modern racial identity. 

©2020 Georgina Lawton (P)2020 Hachette Audio UK

Critic reviews

"A jaw-dropping story, told deftly...a gripping, thought-provoking book." (The Sunday Times)

"Freshly fascinating. [Lawton] is a particularly astute observer of the psychological dislocation caused by growing up mixed race...and she writes beautifully about questions of identity and belonging, so central to each of us in finding our particular place in the world." (New York Times Book Review)

"A poignant and eye opening memoir...a nuanced and crucial dissection of race as a construct." Yomi Adegoke, co-author of Slay in Your Lane)

What listeners say about Raceless

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Beautiful exploration of identity

A lovely, moving read. Author explores her identity and the impact of family secrets on this helpfully weaving in information relating to people from racially minoritised groups along the way. Also a beautiful testimony to her dad.

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resonating

not fully through but my story very similar so identify with many of the frustrations angst but also humour and compassion of the author

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a Beautiful & Powerful must read

I'm so glad that I decided to Listen to this Book on Audible as hearing Georgina Lawton read her own words made it all the more powerful. This book had me laughing and crying in parts, the combination of deeply personal stories, broad discussion on race and identity as well as actual factual data made this such a well rounded book. Extremely thought provoking and educational, I'm sure it will inspire many others. I'll be recommending to all of my friends and family.

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Great listen, highly recommend

This was a brilliant listen. A balanced, nuanced analysis of an extraordinary story. I loved it and listened to it far too quickly. Literally couldn’t turn it off!

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A phenomenal read on race and Identity.

The most profound book I have read on identity. I am still processing my thoughts. It is an incredible book that has allowed me to finally own my thoughts on race with acceptance of them instead of pushing to the back of my mind over the years.

Georina's story told in her own words. My heart weapt rejoiced and is still pounding from the emotions this book stirred in me.

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A very special audiobook

Moved, enlightened and inspired by this brilliantly read and exquisitely written book. Thank you Georgina