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S/He Paperback – March 1, 2005
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Pratt breaks traditions, restrictions, and taboos in what many--some with shocked horror, others with fascination--will find a high-risk book, almost sure to become one of the hottest this season in and perhaps also outside the lesbian community. In a long series of vignettes, Pratt chronicles her Southern youth, during which she was "trained into the cult of pure white womanhood" and raised to be subjugated by a man; her lengthy marriage, the birth of two sons, and her eventual leave-taking from that traditional role; her coming out, living as a lesbian, and the fear it brought of "a sisterhood based on biological definitions" ; and--at the book's pulsing, erotic core--her passionate love for a woman born female but male in gender expression, who often lives as a man and whom Pratt calls "my husband." Some straights and gays alike may be repulsed by Pratt, finding her neither a "real woman" nor a "real lesbian." Others may applaud her efforts to eradicate boundaries. Whitney Scott --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I also found the "Some straights and gays alike may be repulsed by Pratt, finding her neither a "real woman" nor a "real lesbian"" of Amazon's Booklist review to be gratuitous, inflammatory, condescending, and repulsive. Gender and sexual identity are highly personal and nuanced, and not subject to external validation.
Recommended reading for:
- Anyone who enjoys poetic prose
- Anyone studying gender dentity or sexual identity
- Anyone who enjoys Dorothy Allison, Leslie Feinberg, or Bear Bergman
Like the soft spoken and appearing Southern lady gone North as she is, Pratt's got a near subliminal "undertext" going on beneath the surface reading of everyday life stories. One of the most delightfully subversive texts I've read of a modern poetic prose writer.
Oh give this one to all cultural and literary criticism students, queer theorists, transgender and gender studies scholars, and the poets, of course.