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Bearded Lady

Allison Landa

The beard was never far from my mind. Twice daily, I shaved. I blended foundation into my skin with a practiced touch. I hoped for the miracle that never showed its face: smooth skin instead of the prickly surface I felt every time I ran my hand across my chin and down my cheeks. It took years of struggle, of ducking and diving, to finally obtain a diagnosis and treatment. It took love to pull myself from the shadows and into the sun.

BEARDED LADY is a tale of hiding and revealing, of secrets and salvation, of how what we believe sets us apart actually unites us. It’s the story of what happens when you can no longer push down your deepest humiliation and instead must truly face the world.

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"I’ve followed Allison Landa’s work for a decade now, with admiration for the courage, fierce honesty and humor of her utterly distinctive voice. Now comes the story I’ve been waiting for. This is a book for every woman who ever looked in the mirror and felt unattractive, any woman whose mother ever told her she needed to lose weight, any woman who ever allowed herself to believe that because of how she looked, nobody would ever love her. Most of all, it’s a book about triumphing over those experiences.  Allison Landa’s book is about self-acceptance and triumph.  In the end, this is a story of a woman who creates her own beauty."


—Joyce Maynard, author of Count the Ways and At Home in the World (in addition to many others)

—  Name, Title

About the Author

Allison Landa, whose work has been featured in Business Insider, Parents Magazine, The Guardian US, The Washington Post, and HuffPost Personal among other venues, wrote BEARDED LADY as an account of life with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. Landa teaches at The Writing Salon in San Francisco, has been a member of the San Francisco Writers Grotto, and earned her MFA in fiction writing from St. Mary’s College of California. She lives in Berkeley, CA, where she works as a writing teacher and coach.

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