Review: Pageboy by Elliot Page

From the time Elliot Page was thrust into the spotlight at a relatively young age playing a pregnant teenager in Juno he has lived out an extraordinary life in the public eye and one that is not without controversy, courage and criticism. In Pageboy, the actor tells his story in his own words and gives an often shocking behind the scenes glimpse at their life. Behind the amazing acting we've seen in The Umbrella Academy--and the deft storytelling that allowed the character to come out as a trans man along with the actor, is a complicated life. Page details the fraught relationship he has with his father, the abuse he suffered from his stepmother and the shocking sexual abuse he suffered as a young actor in Hollywood. There was also constant speculation about his sexuality and pressure to present a certain image to the world--until he decided to live his life on his own terms.

This was an interesting read. As Page notes in the introduction, it is a story of his personal experiences and is not meant to represent or to invalidate the experiences of other queer and trans lives. I found myself shocked and horrified on a number of occasions throughout the memoir. I also struggled a bit with the non-linear narrative and the way that many of the stories that the author told felt unfinished or were dismissed as no longer important. Fortunately I soon became used to the writing style and it did not cause me to put the book down or to stop reading. While this broke my heart on occasions, there were some uplifting moments such as the relationship that Page has with his mother--who despite having a very different perspective on the world was able to show her son unconditional love and acceptance. 

An interesting glimpse into a very unusual life.



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