Part memoir, part speculative fiction, The Girl I Am, Was, and Never Will Be explores the often surreal experience of growing up as a mixed-Black transracial adoptee.

Dream Country author Shannon Gibney returns with The Girl I Am, Was, and Never Will Be, a book woven from her true story of growing up as a mixed-Black transracial adoptee and fictional story of Erin Powers, the name Shannon was given at birth, a child raised by a white, closeted lesbian. 

At its core, the novel is a tale of two girls on two different timelines occasionally bridged by a mysterious portal and their shared search for a complete picture of their origins. Gibney surrounds that story with reproductions of her own adoption documents, letters, family photographs, interviews, medical records, and brief essays on the surreal absurdities of the adoptee experience.

The end result is a remarkable portrait of an American experience rarely depicted in any form.


* This audiobook includes a downloadable PDF of images, documents and resources from the book.
★ "An ambitiously authentic adoption story where fiction does the work of truth, and archives, correspondence, and health records provide the roots of fantasy."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ "A fantastical, transcendent memory collage that shirks convention in search of what is real and true about familial bonds."—PW, starred.

★ "Readers will praise the raw honesty and insight in this lovingly crafted memoir."—Booklist, starred review

"This deeply felt and unusually creative book is recommended for readers aged fourteen to adult, and will be an especially important resource for people of all ages with a connection to transracial adoption. The final section of the book, a group text thread including the author and other writers with this background, resonates with the solace of shared experience."—Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Gibney captures such interior and intimate adoptee feelings. It's so rare to see it evoked on the page. Breathtakingly beautiful."—Kimberly McKee, PhD, author of Disrupting Kinship: Transnational Politics of Korean Adoption in the United States