I had the pleasure of hearing Benjamin Law speak at a librarian’s conference in Sydney last December.  When he rose to give the opening speech, I really knew nothing about him or his work other than what was said when he was introduced.  What followed was an engaging, funny, and touching address by the author about his life, his family, and most of all, his best-selling book, The Family Law.  After hearing his story I hurried back to my hotel to tell my wife about this amazing speaker and the next day we went to a downtown bookstore in Sydney to get a copy of his reminiscence.  She read it first, but I put it off until last month when I finally sat down to enjoy it.  I am almost sorry I did not put it off longer, because I enjoyed it so much I did not want it to end.  Law’s memories of his family and growing up in Queensland are not presented in a linear, biographical format, but rather in a series of thematic chapters that are hysterically funny and very moving.  In a way, this book is almost a love letter to his parents and siblings, reaching back into his childhood to examine their relationship with an honesty that translates into real affection.  Benjamin’s status as a gay man, an Asian man, and an Australian man are all so complimentary that the essays essentially define what it means to be each.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book, just as much as I did hearing and meeting its author.  Now I have an overwhelming desire to see the television series based on the book and regret that Australian television is so hard to access here in the states.  I will get around to it eventually, I am sure.

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