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Both Sides Now: One Man's Journey Through Womanhood Hardcover – March 16, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher (March 16, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585424722
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585424726
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,610,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In filling a gap in transgender memoirs, Khosla avoids the usual arc of transsexual memoirs, which start with childhood gender discomfort and the build up to the decision to transition, and instead employs a clever, if distracting, structure: he begins with his decision to become a man and weaves childhood memories and surreal dream sequences (in italics) with his story of testosterone injections and surgeries (there are plenty of these: mastectomy, hysterectomy and two kinds of genital reassignment surgeries). Khosla shares his emotional tumult when he hears "sir" from some people and "ma'am" from others. After one person addresses him as the wrong gender, he becomes so angry he punches his image in the mirror. He discovers the joys of being a regular guy at a strip club and transitioning at his high-powered legal job. Unfortunately, Khosla's prose feels too much like a legal brief. Narrating a breakup with a girlfriend, he writes: "The incompatibilities that lay between us when we first began dating had resurfaced." A major falling out with his mother late in the book is likewise flat. Also, Khosla's abrasive personality makes it hard for the reader to sympathize with him. However, he does a good job of letting the reader inside his inner landscape as he grows comfortable in his own skin.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

San Francisco attorney Khosla contends that there is a unique door to the unknown for each person. His quest for inner peace led to opening it up to a man trapped within a woman's body. Khosla was living as a lesbian when an ex-girlfriend shared a 1994 New Yorker article on female-to-male (FTM) sex changes, and it helped Khosla to arrange the pieces of a personal puzzle through a series of gender-reassignment surgeries. After attending FTM support meetings and undergoing continuing therapy, Khosla informed two female supervisors, who proved supportive; her European parents, who were accepting; and an uncle and an aunt, who felt only so-so about it. Hormone therapy brought mood changes and irritability, but Khosla enjoyed short hair and being called "sir" by strangers. Eventually, there were a full hysterectomy and multiple further surgical and emotional changes before Khosla arrived as the man in the dust-jacket photograph. Keen observation, warmth, and humor make Khosla's journey most readable. Whitney Scott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
Thanks to a simple twist of fate, Mr. Khosla was assigned at birth a body by Kafka.
Joe Schwartz
When I received his book I read it through in one night (something new for me) because I had to know the whole story.
Leslie Wurdack
Written in gorgeous, dramatic prose that will keep you turning pages well into the wee hours.
Jill Elaine Hughes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jill Elaine Hughes on September 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
READ THIS BOOK! You don't have to be a transsexual, homosexual, male, or female to get a lot out of this book. I'm a married heterosexual female and read this book with an open mind, and am so glad I did so. Kholsa's transition from a female body to a male one that matched his male brain offers insights on the societal and biological constructs of gender and how our bodies are hard-wired to think and behave in certain ways by our hormones, our sociology, and so many other things. The fact that Kholsa has experienced both sides can help you learn more about yourself and the opposite sex than you ever thought possible.

Written in gorgeous, dramatic prose that will keep you turning pages well into the wee hours. Fantastic! A great choice for your book club, too---sure to inspire hours of lively discussion.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By JVS on July 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Dhillon Khosla, in his book, Both Sides Now, offers readers an intimate chronicling through which he presents his bodily transformations from female to male. His chapters are broken down by the month and range from July 1997 (when Khosla is twenty-eight years old) to November 1999, moving readers through various steps in his transitions as a transsexual man.

Although not exclusively focused on the various medical and surgical procedures Khosla undergoes (including, but not limited to a full mastectomy, testosterone shots, hysterectomy, and metoidioplasty) Both Sides Now does center heavily on such bodily transformations. Khosla's memoir makes evident the extent to which he lives in and through his body, and the utmost significance it is to his well-being (mental, emotional, physical, etc.) that his body not only match his gender identity as a man, but also that others in the world receive him as a man and his body as male.

Many may not understand the depth of the despair Khosla feels whenever he is addressed as "ma'am" instead of "sir." I certainly don't purport to fully understand the utter dejection Khosla conveys at such instances. But, to his credit, Khosla tells his story in such a manner that demonstrates to readers the necessity of such bodily transformations for him, if not for readers themselves.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. J. Mansfield on January 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book changed my life...I mean really. The writter struggled with the very same things I did...that is until I read his book! After reading it I aquired the same courage that he did and solved the same problem. I only wish that books and other information such as this had been made avalible sooner. I found it hard to put down. I laughed and cried along the way. I would recomend this book to anyone struggeling with similar innertermiol and you will no longer feel alone!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Wurdack on June 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is much more than a story about a man born in a woman's body who then went through life threatening surgery and alot of sole searching to become the person he is today. It is also a study in determination and perserverance. I saw Dhillon Khosla on the View and immediately bought his book. I could not believe that he was born a woman. When I received his book I read it through in one night (something new for me) because I had to know the whole story. While this book will interest those who feel they too are trapped in the wrong body,it is also the story of an incredible journey full of sandtraps and brick walls. The intimate story is told with intellectual honesty and is an excellent read.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Joe Schwartz on April 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"Both Sides Now: One Man's Journey Through Womanhood" by Dhillon Khosla takes you along with him on a journey no mere mortal could

imagine. But this is not some science fiction fantasy novel, no, this is in fact a very personal memoir. Thanks to a simple twist of fate, Mr. Khosla was assigned at birth a body by Kafka. His clarity and his intelligence and his perseverance helped him survive and overcome difficult odds.For his relatively rare birth defect, (about one in ten thousand children are born this way) there are no telethons and the cure is expensive. Mr. Khosla had to jump through many hoops to get where he is today- a successful lawyer and talented musician- and the obstacles he faced and conquered in this epic journey were often fore-shadowed in his dreamlife.

The book is smartly laid out- it includes seventeen black and white photographs and twenty-eight of the twenty-nine chapters cover a specific month in his life with the last chapter a jump cut to the present. Each chapter begins with a short but telling entry from his dream journal, and throughout the book the high caliber of his writing keeps you right there beside him.

I rushed home from work each day until I finished this book and thought of little else in the interim. A fantastic story, all the more remarkable for having been lived, one can only hope he tries his hand at novel writing next. He is a relatively young man so one hopes he will write another memoir someday having lived through more adventures, but he has already lived what one could call a crowded hour so his autobiography is by no means premature.

One hopes if there is another installment that the next one will turn out to be a love story.
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