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Kissing Outside the Lines, Diane Farr


I must admit, I had no idea when I picked up this book who the author was, and after reading it, still probably couldn’t pick her out of a TV show. Also, the cover, which features a nude woman (tastefully covered), is not a great way to judge the content. Despite the author’s Hollywood background and the book’s curious design, there are plenty of anecdotes which those engaged in interracial relationships or families will find familiar, including encounters with curious friends, arguments with parents, and the sometimes awkward confusion regarding children.

In addition to her own white/Korean relationship, Farr also relates the experiences of her friend Lisa’s white/black relationship and her friend Jennifer’s white/Asian Indian relationship. Farr and Lisa met through a mutual friend who humorously commented on Lisa’s children, saying “[she has] twin boys. One came out white and the other is black” (43). Reading Lisa’s discussion about her children and their mixed heritage brings to mind a recent NY Times article in which an African-American woman encountered racist questions when out shopping with her biracial children.

This was a fascinating read to me for a number of reasons. The white female / Asian male relationship is far less common than the white male / Asian female relationship which I currently have, so to compare and see similarities was quite insightful; in addition, hearing the white perspective on white/Asian relationships from a female perspective also provided some food for thought. Though Farr and Chung move in social circles far above anything I could ever aspire to, it is comforting to see that even wealth, fame, and status do not easily overcome the unique problems and quirks of interracial relationships. Though Farr is not particularly eloquent or technically precise in her prose, it is very readable despite some veering into “gossip-rag” ranting.

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