A stunning family memoir by journalist Georgina Lawton, exploring race, identity and the devasting effect of long-held secrets on a happy family.
'A jaw-dropping story, told deftly... a gripping, thought-provoking book.' The Sunday Times
'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
'a masterpiece...an invaluable read for any person with an interest in race issues in the UK.' Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, Editor-in-Chief at gal-dem magazine
'A beautifully written account of an extraordinary story, Raceless is as eye-opening as it is profound.' Otegha Uwagba
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.
A jaw-dropping story, told deftly... a gripping, thought-provoking book. - The Times
A beautifully written account of an extraordinary story, Raceless is as eye-opening as it is profound. - Otegha Uwagba
Georgina Lawton's Raceless is an absolutely riveting read, not just as a poignant and eye opening memoir but as a nuanced and crucial dissection of race as a construct. She writes so movingly and powerfully about her experiences - I have no doubt this will be one of the books of this year. - Yomi Adegoke, co-author of Slay in Your Lane
This book is a masterpiece; functioning both as a beautifully-written memoir and sensitive, highly-researched text unpacking the realities of race as a social construct and as a powerful influence on the lives of black people. It is an invaluable read for any person with an interest in race issues in the UK, but especially black and black mixed race people, who so often haven't been given the space to tell their stories. Georgina Lawton is a true talent and while some parts of her story are mired in pain, upon finishing Raceless you'll only be left with optimism for her future as a writer, thinker and commentator. - Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, Editor-in-Chief at gal-dem magazine
An incredibly moving and honest account of self discovery. I found myself weeping at the ways Georgina described grieving for a parent on top of navigating the realisation that her origin story was vastly different from the story she had been told. It isn't often that you come across a story like hers and with every page it felt as though she was letting us in a little bit deeper. What a stunning debut! - Liv Little, gal-dem founder
Lawton builds a strong story around her attainment of emotional balance and her quest for identity and belonging. At turns revelatory and profound, this memoir sings. - Publishers Weekly
Georgina is such a passionate, engaging writer, and I think Raceless is going to be absolutely huge. - Jenny Colgan
A beautiful heart-expanding memoir, a truly unforgettable reading experience that will stay with me for a long time. - Emma Gannon