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Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More Paperback – December 2, 2014
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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“Far too many assume that Janet Mock's story is primarily about her body. This book is irrefutable evidence that Janet must be understood through her intellect, spirit, and wit. Janet does what only great writers of autobiography accomplish—she tells a story of the self, which turns out to be a reflection of all humanity. You will be changed by this book.” (Melissa Harris-Perry, Wake Forest University Professor and host of MSNBC's "Melissa Harris-Perry")
“Janet Mock is a glamorous, smarty-pants writer and activist…. Her book about her life as a transwoman, Redefining Realness, isn’t just a service to the trans community but to every woman – hell, person – who has struggled with identity.” (Lena Dunham, actress and author of Not That Kind of Girl)
“Courageous! Told with a spirit of raw honesty that moves beyond confession to redemptive revelation, this book is a life map for transformation—for changing minds. A heart-rending autobiography of love, longing, and fulfillment.” (bell hooks, feminist, social activist, and author of All About Love)
“Redefining Realness is a classic American autobiography. Like Richard Wright and Maya Angelou, Janet Mock brings us into a world we may not know and with breathtaking insight, courage, and masterful craft makes her story universal.” (Barbara Smith, author of the Truth That Never Hurts: Writings on Race, Gender, and Freedom, co-founder of Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press)
“Redefining Realness is a riveting, emotional, crisply written testimony. I couldn't put it down. I aspire to be as unflinchingly brave! Janet Mock's story simultaneously embodies, complicates, and subverts the concept of American exceptionalism and self-creation.” (Laverne Cox, actress, advocate, and star of Orange Is the New Black)
“Defining oneself is a revolutionary act, and, as described in her memoir, Janet Mock fiercely fought to free herself with exquisite bravery and sensitivity. Redefining Realness is full of hope, dreams, and determination. It is a true American girl story.” (Michaela angela Davis, Image Activist/Writer/CNN Contributor)
“Every Cinderella story has its problematic step-parents to maneuver around, and its metaphorical fireplaces to clean, before the heroine is whisked off to the ball. Janet Mock’s is no exception. But the real magic here is not of the fairy-tale kind. Redefining Realness overflows with the everyday magic of survival and resiliency in low income communities of color, of loving kindness bursting through the cracks of a hard reality, and of the life-sustaining bonds of family, friendships, and a powerful trans sisterhood.” (Susan Stryker, author of Transgender History and Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Director of the Institute for LGBT, University of Arizona)
“An eye-opening and unapologetic story that is much greater than mere disclosure.... An enlightening, much-needed perspective on transgender identity.” (Kirkus Reviews)
About the Author
Janet Mock is a writer, TV host, and advocate tackling stigma through storytelling. With a Master’s in journalism from New York University, the Honolulu native began her career as an editor at People.com and went on to write cover stories for Marie Claire, Interview, and The Advocate as well as essays for The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Lenny. She produced HBO’s The Trans List, hosts the podcast Never Before, and serves as a columnist for Allure. Called a “fearless new voice” and “trailblazing leader” who “changed my way of thinking” by Oprah Winfrey, Janet was a featured speaker at the historic Women’s March on Washington. She is the author of Surpassing Certainty and the New York Times bestseller Redefining Realness. Find out more at JanetMock.com.
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If you've been in radical anti-racist/abolitionist trans spaces for over a decade, there's probably not a lot *new* in the analysis, but if you haven't there probably is--and regardless it's all solid. OTOH for me there was something really healing in hearing her talk about personal experiences that often get left out of political discussions.
Also: her narration is great.
Her brilliance and determination is evident on the page and while she seems to stand apart from many of the Trans women of color who are inspired by her, (Mock was an Editor at People Magazine, and attended NYU) her coming of age story has the street credibility to let us know that she is one of us.
The book is definitely a page turner, told straight from the heart, and likely the first of this genre by a Trans woman of color to go mainstream. Of course her beauty is a factor, her gender identity potentially read as salacious, but it was the power and strength of the writing that held my attention. You can just recognize when the truth is being told.
I applaud Mock for her genuine praise and recognition of the Trans women of color who paved much of the way for the gains we are witnessing in the TLBG community and Trans community specifically. She lifts up Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Mock's overall message in her first book is that telling our own stories is an imperative and that loving yourself as a Trans woman of color is a revolutionary act. Thank you Janet for this important story.