- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Broadway Books; Edition Unstated edition (August 10, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0767914295
- ISBN-13: 978-0767914291
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 311 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #634,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders Paperback – August 10, 2004
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"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
"In addition to being a complete delight, this book should make us all question what we mean when we use the words love, marriage, and friendship. Jennifer Finney Boylan is a great gift to womanhood."
--Haven Kimmel, author of A Girl Named Zippy
From the Inside Flap
The provocative bestseller Shes Not There is the winning, utterly surprising story of a person changing genders. By turns hilarious and deeply moving, Jennifer Finney Boylan explores the territory that lies between men and women, examines changing friendships, and rejoices in the redeeming power of family. Told in Boylans fresh voice, Shes Not There is about a person bearing and finally revealing a complex secret. Through her clear eyes, Shes Not There provides a new window on the confounding process of accepting our true selves.
Probably no book Ive read in recent years has made me so question my basic assumptions about both the centrality and the permeability of gender, and made me recognize myself in a situation Ive never known and have never faced . . . The universality of the astonishingly uncommon: thats the trick of Shes Not There. And with laughs, too. What a good book. Anna Quindlen, from the Introduction to the Book-of-the-Month-Club edition.
Top customer reviews
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i enjoyed the book, and i might have learned a few things. i enjoyed the writing, and the description of what it is like to be this particular 'other'. the author and her bestie discuss what identity is in terms of choosing who to present as. but my experience has been more like discovering what i am - not who. self is known; the details are murky. i appreciate fine writing that shows the struggle, the confusion, the weirdness of it all in a society that is very very sure that identity is static, and of course is very very wrong.
as for the attitude / altitude in the book, i have that optimism as well. it stays there, enhancing my emotional baseline, always. i'm not trans, but i am a lesbian, and my husband left me for a straight woman, and .... i had stayed, for years. i would have stayed forever [ even now, 9 years later]. so i understand jenny's staying part, and maybe a small part of a possible not staying part, and perhaps some of 'grace's staying part, and a lot of the 'buoyancy' part.
it seems very clear that 'grace' and jenny have a really good marriage, a close, positive marriage, and so it's not surprising that she acted as she did. she suffered, she lived, she managed; what most of us do in our dramas, large and small. she was inclined that way.
i do believe that women tend to stay, while men leave, for very complex reasons. while i appreciated her words, i'm sad that 'grace' felt she should write her response because of all the shouting and 'not fair's ostensibly on her behalf.
trans and the rest of the queer rainbow have never, ever been all that weird to me. i am just lucky, that way, i guess. i never struggled with that part of my identity, but it is obvious that some people do. but the weirdest thing to me is that strangers struggle - and argue with - someone else's identity. and i don't mean when someone is in the closet. i mean a stated, struggled for identity, and here are friends, family, colleagues, etc., proclaiming that it's not so because they don't believe it or haven't felt it, or whatever denial mechanism they feel they need. i don't believe in jesus, but it's abundantly clear that many people do, why argue? but i guess that's what makes this a book, and not a moment.
it's a well-written book. i like how it dances thru time, i like the buoyancy. i like the afterword by jenny's friend. i love how it all comes together.