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Jess Row On Writing Characters With Complex Identities

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Jess Row's debut novel, "Your Face in Mine," is set in Baltimore and the settings around town in which this provocative story take place will no doubt be familiar.

So will some of the people, including a few employees of a local public radio station.  What won’t be familiar is the imaginative premise of this very insightful novel. One of the protagonists, Martin Lipkin, is white and Jewish.  Before the novel begins, he has self- diagnosed himself with what he calls Racial Identity Dysphoria Syndrome, and he has undergone racial reassignment surgery to become African American.  As his story is revealed, author Jess Row tackles the issues of racial identity, white privilege, and the notion of starting your life over again as a completely new person.  Mr. Row will be talking about his book tomorrow night at Red Emma’s bookstore.  He joins Tom Hall by phone from New York.

Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Jamyla Krempel is WYPR's digital content director and the executive producer of Wavelength: Baltimore's Public Radio Journey. She collaborates with reporters, program and podcast hosts to create content for WYPR’s online platforms.