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New Family Values

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New Family Values audiobook cover

Dear Reader,

My audio series, New Family Values, an Audible Original, went live on December 6, and is now available for streaming and download here (for free to Audible and Amazon Prime members). It’s a close-up look at the diverse ways we experience family, and at how richly people are inventing the concept to suit their circumstances. It’s a window onto gay families, multi-parent families, child-free families, and the practices of adoption, surrogacy, single parenthood, polyamory, and foster care. It both celebrates innovation and investigates the particular challenges that unconventional and emerging forms of domesticity present. Although it is being marketed as an audiobook, although it is part of my ongoing investigation of family, and although it offers a kind of sneak preview of my next book, it is not a book read aloud, but rather a collection of voices, mine orchestrating the many.

Here you will find an embrace of expansiveness at a time when many people in power seem to be focused unrelentingly on contraction. Allowing people more latitude in deciding what makes a family runs parallel to allowing them to determine what makes a person. It enables the blossoming of respect for all people, regardless of the manner in which their families were formed. I do not accept a government that denies the identity of trans people and excludes them from public service, nor one that silences, attacks, and even condones the murder of journalists; nor one that separates parents and children as a means to discourage immigration. I do not believe that religious liberty can be rightly used to veil prejudice. All of these aberrations hew to narrow definitions of humanity, and consider some people more deserving than others. My series pursues the opposite.

New Family Values continues the examination of family life begun in Far From the Tree. In that book, I argued there are an almost infinite number of ways to be a happy family, and an equal number of ways to be an unhappy one. It is by exploring the vast range of such experiences that we are liberated. My audio series aims to expand the conversation about what, exactly, qualifies as a family, to encourage compassion for and appreciation of families that often find themselves undeservedly and even cruelly marginalized.

I'm also pleased to announce that the documentary Far From the Tree is now available for streaming from IFC Films, Amazon Prime (U.S.), Amazon Prime (U.K.), Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, andYouTube, and that it will have its Hulu debut on December 29.

Whatever your own family entails, may you find joy in it this holiday season.

My best always,


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