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She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders Paperback – April 30, 2013
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
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Boylan, English professor and author of the critically acclaimed novels The Constellations (1994), The Planets (1991), and Getting In (1998), began life as a male named James Boylan. In this autobiography, she details her lifelong struggle with her burgeoning femaleness and the path she followed to become a female, both physically and mentally. For 40 years, the author lived as a man, seemingly happy and even marrying a woman and fathering two children. At a certain point, though, she realized that she couldn't suppress her desire to live as a female and so eventually went through all the steps to become female, including sexual reassignment surgery. There is something troubling about Boylan's lighthearted tone, and while she hints at it, there is no really clear depiction of the havoc this transition must have wreaked on her married life (Boylan's wife was clearly devastated) and on her children (who at times refer to her as boygirl or maddy). But Boylan's well-written and informative book is a worthy contribution to the body of work on this subject. Kathleen Hughes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“She’s Not There, the Running with Scissors of sex-change stories, brings irreverence and a merrily outrageous sense of humor to this potentially serious business.”
—Janet Maslin, New York Times
“Beautifully crafted, fearless, painfully honest, inspiring, and extremely witty. Jennifer Finney Boylan is an exquisite writer with a fascinating story, and this combination has resulted in one of the most remarkable, moving, and unforgettable memoirs in recent history.”
—Augusten Burroughs, author of Running with Scissors and Dry
Top customer reviews
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It took a few chapters to really get going, but then I read it on the airplane and on the bus and had difficulty putting it down while on vacation.
There is nothing like literature for trying to understand how it is to live in someone else's moccasins.
I occasionally wanted the author to be a little less literary and just get on with the story. I skim read the first few chapters but found the last 3/4ths of the book well worth reading.
A week later, I am still thinking about what it would be like to live in Jennifer or Graces's shoes.
This was an interesting read but not a particularly moving one.