In July 2012, aged 30, Juliet Jacques underwent sex reassignment surgery and felt for the first time that her body matched the person she felt she had been since childhood.
Through university and then in a series of dead end clerical jobs, Jacques felt out of place with her surroundings and with who she really was. Living in Brighton, trying to launch a career as a writer, she navigates the hostilities and misunderstandings of growing up in a time when the mainstream media - and even feminism - fail to acknowledge transgender identity. Yet through films, music, politics and football, she begins to find herself and starts the process of transition - and life beyond.
Throughout her memoir, Jacques interweaves the narrative with powerful explorations of many of the major debates surrounding trans: the uses of life writing, the relationship with feminism, and the before and after images that illustrated so many articles and documentaries.
Brilliantly written, revealing and honest, Trans also includes an epilogue with award-winning author Sheila Heti, in which Jacques and Heti discuss the issues facing transgender people.
©2015 Juliet Jacques (P)2016 Audible, Ltd
"Brutally honest and funny." (Marie Claire)
"An honest, articulate account of one life so far." (Guardian)
I think it's important to say straight off that I didn't finish this book. I was really interested in this as a subject matter and looked forward to hearing a first hand story of someone who has been through this. I made it about 90 minutes in before I gave up. There was no sense of her personality coming through. It started off well but quickly became impersonal and dull. The author's personality just didn't come through in the way it usually does in an autobiography. I guessing it was ghost written and, as such, I would attribute this to a lazy process of getting this story on paper. It was such a shame as I felt this was an important story to tell.
I found far too much about personal fashion tastes, and enthusiasm for unknown esoteric music. Still trying to understand if this was intended to be proof of spiritual femaleness - if so, bad - or just self indulgence.
Binary is great for computers, not for human beings, and intolerance is vile all round.
No sensationalism, thank God, or trite phrases. Hope there'll be a follow up when life settles down.
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