A fiercely assured debut novel about four second-generation Chinese sisters, one of whom happens to be a boy
At birth, Peter Huang is given the Chinese name Juan Chaun, powerful king. To his parents, newly settled in small-town Ontario, he is the exalted only son in a sea of daughters, the one who will finally fulfill his immigrant father s dreams of Western masculinity.
Peter and his sisters elegant Adele, shrewd Helen, and Bonnie the bon vivant grow up in an airless house of order and obligation, though secrets and half-truths simmer beneath the surface. At the first opportunity, each of the girls lights out on her own scattering to Montreal, California, and Berlin. But for Peter, escape is not as simple as fleeing his parents home. Though his father crowned him powerful king, Peter knows otherwise. He knows he is really a girl.
Caught in the no-man s land between his dreams for himself and the demands imposed on him, Peter s coming-of-age is a gauntlet of playground bullies, sadistic lovers, Christian ex-gays. But then, after many lonely years, with the help of his far-flung sisters and a young man named John, Peter finds himself inching closer to inhabiting his own life, his own skin.
Darkly funny, emotionally acute, stunningly powerful, Kim Fu s debut novel lays bare the costs of forsaking one s own path in deference to one laid out by others. For Today I Am a Boy is an unforgettable examination of how we find our true selves, and marks the emergence of a strikingly fresh literary voice.