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Nina Here Nor There: My Journey Beyond Gender Paperback – May 10, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“…[B]eautifully written…Accessible and full of humor, there’s no question that in the growing canon of first person transgender narratives, this is already a classic.”—Curve Magazine

“I found Nick Kreiger’s memoir to be non-threatening and honest. It was candid and answered many questions I didn’t even know to ask.”—Transforming Love 

“Nick's story is refreshing because he doesn't abide by the 'heterosexual man trapped in a woman's body' narrative that we're so used to hearing in the news. It's more nuanced and…feels so much more real and personal.”—Queering the Campus

"As Kreiger explores the gender spectrum, we do too. At the same time he’s seeing the blurred lines of woman and not-woman, we see it as well. The journey is a good one, shared…The book is a captivating fresh take on the fluidity of gender to which many LGBTs will relate.”—Washington Blade

"Nina Here Nor There (and how clever a title is that?) is…a very well-written, important book…Nina Here Nor There works on several levels—as a guide for people who want to transition; as a conversation-starter for those interested in gender issues; as a heartfelt memoir; and as a fun, fly-on-the-wall look at San Francisco's diverse LGBT scene.”—GO Magazine

“Nick Krieger's Nina Here Nor There: My Journey Beyond Gender is a passionate and honest memoir. Krieger recounts his personal search for identity and gender with humor and emotional honesty, making this one of the year's most moving books.”—Largehearted Boy

“His experience as a travel writer brings cultural details into sharp focus, and weighs individual meanings…a well written travel guide to Nick’s corner of the world.”— OUTview Online

“The memoir is a journey that grabs your heart and stretches your brain into new ways of thinking.”—The Windy City Times 

“A new and welcome voice in transgender memoir.”—Kate Bornstein, author of Gender Outlaw

“A personal, insightful, and nuanced discussion of the life experiences and tough decisions that inform transgender identities. The language is precise, the thinking is complex, and the self-questioning is funny and honest. This is a profound and moving book, and its existence makes me happy.”—Stephen Beachy, author of Distortion
 
“It’s a rare memoir that can tell a story that seems brand new, but Nina Here Nor There does it. This one-of-a-kind narrator undertakes a quest that is unmistakably timely. But in its yearning for awareness and connection, this book feels timeless.”—K. M. Soehnlein, author of Robin and Ruby
 
“With inimitable charm . . . Nina Here Nor There depicts the trans experience in a way that anyone can identify with, and everyone will enjoy.”—Thea Hillman, author of Intersex (For Lack of a Better Word)

"A beautifully rendered and personal account that feels like a fresh addition to trans literature."—Publishers Weekly

“[A] humorous, moving, and engagingly authentic journey.”—Whitney Scott, Booklist

“Reading Nina Here Nor There is like taking a tour through San Francisco’s transmale culture by the most charming guide you could hope for…an important contribution to the body of literature about contemporary queer culture and lives. Nina Here Nor There is a book queers across the gender and sexuality spectrum should read. An insightful, accessible, and witty page-turner, Nina Here Nor There is the transgender narrative we’ve been waiting for.”—Lambda Literary

“In our media context, where only one kind of narrative about transition seems to be allowed, this alternate personal story can feel pretty revolutionary…He writes incredibly perceptively about issues like gender and class, approaching them through storytelling and subtle personal exploration instead of explaining through standard social justice language…Nina Here Nor There offers an honest, personal take on many aspects of identity...”—Feministing 

"[Nina Here Nor There is] an edifying, passionate memoir …the uninitiated and the curious will find these pages brimming with an enlightening, first-person experience that is both intriguing and educating…What emerges is a powerful and moving portrait of one man's quest for happiness in finding the truest sense of himself. Krieger has produced an intimate memoir about how vital physical changes can beautify every aspect of life, inside and out.”—The Bay Area Reporter 

“In a twist on the traditional transgender narrative, Nick identifies as neither male nor female and invites readers to view gender not as a binary or a spectrum but as an infinitely beautiful ‘kaleidoscope.’ Narrated with verve, charm, and humor, Krieger’s memoir doesn’t hold back on self-examination and emotional honesty, and will likely upend some of your preconceptions.”—Bust Magazine

About the Author

A native of New York, Nick Krieger realized at the age of twenty-one that he’d been born on the wrong coast, a malady he corrected by transitioning to San Francisco. His writing has earned several travel-writing awards and has been published in multiple travel guides. 
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (May 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807000922
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807000922
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #235,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
By the time they reach the reader's hands, memoirs from the edge of society--and really, what memoir isn't from the edge of society when it comes down to it--have already been so marginalized so many times over, have lived entire lives in the shadows, that they can run the risk of preachiness, of self-righteousness, of over-defensive (and don't mind the pun here) cockiness. But "Nina Here Nor There" is not so much a memoir as it is therapy in words, words beautifully crafted and honed with so much love, and Nick Krieger is not so much a preacher as he is a comrade-in-arms. With equal parts wit and tenderness, Krieger writes to make sense of this world he finds himself in, a world of packers and binders and drains (oh my), a world that exists underneath a white Hanes t-shirt. He holds nothing back, and he is a narrator so completely genuine and lovable that you will laugh when he laughs when neither of you should be laughing at all. Page after page-turning page, you're in this with Krieger: you learn with him, you cry with him, you get your heart broken by lovers and family alike.

Yes, this book gives voice to a trans community, but that's nearly besides the point. This book gives voice to Nick Krieger, an outsider even in his outsider world, and his story is singular yet unassuming. This is what makes "Nina Here Nor There" so special. Krieger is as curious as he is insightful, and he understands that there is no one story, not for the transgender community, not for any community. Yet it is a rare story that is told this well. At the heart of it, there is love, identity, and family (both chosen and given), and it does not matter where one falls on the gender spectrum: this is a journey beyond gender.
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Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful window into the mind of an "in between" transgender person.
As an activist ally in the transgender community, I have discussed the "gender continuum" many times during educational presentations. While realizing academically that the majority of us are not at either end of the male - female continuum, I have not fully understood the complexity of those whose transitional "end point" is somewhere in the middle. "Nina Here Nor There" provides a great deal more awareness and understanding of this position and those who occupy it.
There have been a great many transition memoirs written and published. Most imply that the only "real" trans person wants to change completely from the persona they were assigned at birth to the persona they feel they are. Some leave room for others to feel differently, and a few express themselves as being neither - nor.
Nina Here Nor There does this very well. Nick Krieger welcomes the reader into his most private thoughts and actions during several years of his life. He takes us along as he moves along the continuum from a not-quite-comfortable butch lesbian who hates her breasts toward a not-quite-male guy without them. He tells his story honestly and with good humor as he questions everything he has experienced and observed in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco during this period in his life.
This story brings to mind a different definition of transgender than most people are accustomed to. To me, the prefix "trans" can also mean past or beyond; with this interpretation, "transgender" can also mean "beyond gender" as we know it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Welcome to our transgender world. Gender's not as black and white as you think.

For those not as in the know, transgender refers to the experience of having been born biologically one sex but identifying mentally (and often physically) as another. This book is equal parts memoir and journey into the world of gender identity, from the point of view of Nina Krieger, a female-born individual who begins exploring her (now his) gender identity in her late 20s and early 30s, eventually coming to the conclusion that she prefers masculine pronouns to feminine and needs to take steps to transition for her own comfort and peace of mind. This includes a name change to Nick, hence the author's name in the byline.

I've seen comments about Nick Krieger's privileged background as it relates to his transition in other reviews. Perhaps due to my own privileged background, I don't see this as much of a negative, despite knowing I won't be able to afford even half the cost he paid for his top surgery anytime soon. On the contrary, I think Nick addresses privilege (including his own) well throughout the book and fits it into the story as much as is possible to show where he came from in terms of familial background and where he ultimately ends up by book's end.

Where I think this book truly stands out however is the depiction of what some might consider a late-term realization of gender identity. It brings to light the fact that not all transgendered individuals knew they were transgender when they were children, either because the social environment in which they were raised wasn't optimal for it or simply as a result of not connecting the dots until later on in life.
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