Not So Black and White

Alexis Wilson. Alexis Wilson, $20 (188p) ISBN 978-0-615-56824-9
Wilson's bittersweet memoir of her father walks readers through a fascinating time and place. Billy Wilson was a prominent African-American ballet dancer who danced with the Dutch National Ballet in the 1960s, and was a Broadway choreographer in the 70s.. He married a white woman who was also a ballet dancer, and they had two children. However, their lives together grew strained, and Billy left his wife and moved in with his new love, Chip Garnett. In a surprising move for the times, he also got custody of both children. Alexis struggled to come to terms with her feelings about her father and her parents' separation, often to Chip's detriment, as well as trying to find her own way as a dancer and actress where the groundwork had been laid by her legendary father. When Chip and Billy started developing symptoms related to AIDS, Alexis and her brother became their caretakers. This experience brought pain as well as a sense of peace. Readers interested in Billy Wilson's professional rise will only get glimpses of that here; rather, Wilson focuses on is the universal tension between fathers and daughters and the struggle when the child takes on a caregiving role. Readers will be moved by her experiences and reflections on her father, and touched by this unique tale. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 05/04/2015
Release date: 06/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
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