i have to admit i am a sucker for a good memoir. and this is one of the best i have read recently. i was drawn in to jennys pain and honesty. her journey to self awareness is inspiring. i am amazed by all the loving and accepting people jenny was fortunate enough to have in her life. this book opened a new world to me- one that i found very interesting.
Boylan is an engaging writer, with a great sense of humor and a wonderfully supporting group of friends and family. She tells the story of her journey from masculinity to femininity in a compelling fashion. I loved this book!
Absolutely amazing novel. I read this as a student in a gender studies class, and it opened my eyes to a whole world I was blind to. Boylan is hysterical, grounded, and a fantastic storyteller. Everyone who has ever been interested in gender studies or even just to opening their minds to new ways of life, this is a fabulous start. This book really started my path to exploration in gender equality, which is now a major part of my entire identity and philosophy.
Jane E. reviewed She's Not There : A Life in Two Genders on
Helpful Score: 1
Fabulous book--a true story. If you're having a hard time understanding why someone would transgender, how it impacts those around them, the capacity we all have to love and understand one another better, read this book. My book club is discussing it in June
This was a great memoir. His writing flowed very nicely. And was a very quick read. I got so sucked into his, well Jenny's life that I couldn't put this book down. Her writing really made you feel what she was feeling. I would recommend this to anyone interested in this subject, or to anyone who likes memoirs.
I'm glad I read Jennifer Finney Boylan's account of life as a transsexual undergoing a male-to-female transition. A novelist and English professor at Colby College, Boylan writes with humor and eloquence. It is also an inspiring real-life lesson of how accepting a transgendered person's family and friends can be. Jenny is certainly a blessed person.
However, I was disappointingly less engaged than I hoped. Boylan writes about the events in her life without great insight into how she felt at that time. Her earlier life was sketched out in such a pointillistic style it is hard to connect the dots to how this amounted to a crushing identity crisis. (Not to say it did not exist.) Boylan's best friend, Richard Russo (author of Empire Falls), thought Jenny as the real Boylan was "implausible" because she played the role of James so well these pages do not offer much more of a glimpse at this behind-the-scenes inner self. I also think there was not much insight shared from the author's unique perspective of "being able to see into the worlds of both men and women with clear eyes." That said, I would still recommend the book as an uplifting story of how love and friendship prevail, even if it can not cure gender identity disorder as Jenny had hoped.
Tara F. reviewed She's Not There : A Life in Two Genders on
A wonderful book that shines a beautiful light on a taboo topic. Well written and thoughtful, Boylan never goes for sensationalism but rather lets you in on the intricacies of his/her journey. A really remarkable story of love and acceptance. Highly recommend.