This handsome reprint of Jorgensen's 1967 memoir makes it abundantly clear how moments of grace can descend on even the most ordinary of lives. When ex-G.I. George Jorgensen went to Copenhagen in the early 1950s to consult experts in sexual deviance, he was afraid they'd simply proclaim him a fairy. A full battery of hormonal and psychological tests revealed that, while he was drawn to men, he was no garden-variety homophile; he was a lady. Keeping the secret from his family, Jorgensen endured a groundbreaking series of operations, finally emerging in November 1952 as a delicately beautiful young woman. "I merely wanted to correct what I considered a misjudgment of Nature," wrote Jorgensen, who died in 1989. No one seeing the photographs included here (many of them new to this edition) can doubt the success of Jorgensen's transformation or wonder too long at the fascination she engendered back home, where a newspaper bought her story for $20,000 and she was proclaimed New York City's Woman of the Year. A stage and screen career soon followed. As Susan Stryker points out in a new introduction, Jorgensen offers a somewhat flattering and selectively abridged account of herself in the autobiography, but no more so than any plucky girl smiling her way through what must have been, at times, a harrowing and lonely journey, but one that she conducted with remarkable dignity. --Regina Marler
From Library Journal
Jorgensen made international headlines in the early 1950s as the first person to go public about having a sex-change operation. Following the revelation, s/he became the poster child for transsexualism. Her 1967 autobiography is a straightforward account of growing up as a boy with much inner conflict. It goes on to cover the decision to have the surgery, the procedure itself, and her successful career as a Las Vegas entertainer. This contains a new introduction by gay historian Susan Stryker. (LJ 9/1/67)
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.