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Joanne Gouaux

Joanne Gouaux

San Francisco, California

Joanne Gouaux is a social entrepreneur and strategist, Mentor to the United Nations Association of San Francisco, and Board Chair of an NGO headquartered in Silicon Valley.

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About the author

Joanne Gouaux is a social entrepreneur, mentor to the United Nations Association of San Francisco, and Board Chair of an NGO dedicated to serving children living in poverty with repeated exposure to toxic stress. She is a contributing wellness writer at Thrive Global where she writes about adapting to change, coping with the unexpected, and applying inner sources of resilience to create a vision and path forward.
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Success! I’m Not Like You sold 12 pre-orders by Jan. 2, 2020, was pitched to 6 publishers, and will be self published.

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I’m Not Like You

How Genetics Testing Helps Us Speak Hard Truths, Find Inner Sources of Strength, and Recognize Our Common Humanity

Test results from a simple DNA Ancestry kit revealed an unexpected surprise. I’m Not Like You is a story of self-discovery and the invisible forces that shape our identity.

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Biography & Memoir
60,000 words
25% complete
5 publishers interested

Synopsis

THE PROBLEM
Your self-concept exists in relationship to the people around you. You define yourself as “someone who belongs to this group,” and easy to access DNA testing among millions of people can confirm or shatter that self-concept, revealing biological facts that raise more questions than answers. If you are a member of a group, there's a natural desire to understand more about who your people are and where you fit in. If you discover that there's more to your story than what you've been told, you can experience grief, a sense of betrayal and a loss of trust along with a choice to explore or ignore the new insight about your biological family members.

THE SOLUTION
I'm Not Like You is told from a relatable voice who faces the unknown, and discovers the unimaginable, and finds a way to cope by embracing the good, accepting the facts, and letting go of the darkness that threatens to destroy her closest relationships. By exploring how young women burdened by poverty, and a lack of job skills make choices about relationships, the book offers a narrative for identity empowerment and social reconstruction. By navigating an unexpected DNA outcome, the story provides a way for others to come to terms with possible inconsistencies between family history and DNA facts.
It's human nature to desire predictability and control. It's also human nature to create and embrace change.

WHY JOANNE?
Learning that the only dad you've ever known is not your biological father and instead is a total stranger to you can be crushing, traumatic and common in the current age of inexpensive and easily accessible genetics testing. The stranger in this story has a troubled past with women and relationships. Learning to view issues from multiple perspectives and arrive at the most reasonable reconciliation of seemingly contradictory information and emotions is a skill that can be developed. This story gives the reader hope and shows that this thinking skill is an essential part of coping with unexpected DNA results in a healthy way.

Why support this book?

  • The price of DNA testing kits has plummeted in the US they're available for less than $100.
  • By the start of 2019, more than 26 million consumers (stakeholders) had added their DNA to four leading commercial ancestry and health databases. At this pace, a handful of companies could potentially hold genetic data of more than 100 million people within a few years. People are looking for ways to come to terms with secrets about their ancestry.
  • I'm Not Like You is a narrative for identity empowerment and social reconstruction. The violence that many women experience is often shaped by dimensions of their identities, such as race and class that are interwoven throughout the story. These dimensions inspire discussion and healthy dialogue. Conversations are an effective way to build stakeholder interest and enthusiasm.
  • Society needs a new way to talk about how we're different and what we have in common. Ignoring differences within groups frequently contributes to tension among groups, even within families. Relatable stories that address racism and sexism and readily intersect in the lives of real people is a way to unravel the destructive tension between groups.

Similar titles

  • The Stranger in My Genes: A Memoir Hardcover – September 20, 2016 by Bill Griffeth. I'm Not Like You follows a similar premise. The author takes a DNA test that has an unexpected outcome. Both wade through family secrets. The Stranger in My Genes is written from a male perspective. I'm Not Like You is written from a female perspective and geared toward guiding people through the unexpected; what to do when you don't know what to do.
  • Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA Paperback – September 29, 2017 by Richard Hill. Finding Family is about an adoptee trying to reclaim the biological family denied to him by sealed birth records. I'm Not Like You is about unexpectedly discovering a secret biological father and seven siblings. Both wrestle with how parental decisions and secrets impact their sense of identity. I'm Not Like You is geared toward coping, moderation, finding balance, coupled with hard won wisdom.
  • Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love Hardcover – January 15, 2019 by by Dani Shapiro. Both stories are told from the perspective of woman who receives news that her father is not her biological father and the consequences of that discovery. In Inheritance, the parents are married and seek fertility support. In I'm Not Like You, the parents are married, but the pregnancy is the result of the mother's relationship with her employer. In both stories, the married couples choose not to tell.

Audience

This book is for readers interested in the social impact of easy access to genetic technology, identity politics, and the unforeseeable family crises that arise from exposing hard truths.

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