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Summary

Longlisted for the Women's Prize 2021

Reese nearly had it all: a loving relationship with Amy, an apartment in New York, a job she didn't hate. She'd scraped together a life previous generations of trans women could only dream of; the only thing missing was a child. Then everything fell apart, and three years on, Reese is still in self-destruct mode, avoiding her loneliness by sleeping with married men.

When her ex calls to ask if she wants to be a mother, Reese finds herself intrigued. After being attacked in the street, Amy de-transitioned to become Ames, changed jobs and, thinking he was infertile, started an affair with his boss Katrina. Now Katrina's pregnant. Could the three of them form an unconventional family - and raise the baby together?

©2021 Torrey Peters (P)2021 Profile Audio

Critic reviews

"A voraciously knowing, compulsively readable novel." (Chris Kraus)

"Tremendously funny and sexy as hell." (Juliet Jacques) 

"Emotionally generous, richly textured, and deeply intelligent." (Claire Lombardo)  

What listeners say about Detransition, Baby

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    4 out of 5 stars

A very honest depictions of modern adult life.

I really enjoyed this book. It was excellently written and felt very genuine.

As a trans woman I found the depictions of trans characters relatable and respectful (which feels like something that shouldnt need to be said about a book written by a trans woman).

The book speaks really well on matter relating to those of us who have been living these lives for most of our adult lives, and is very honest about the issues we all face trying to live our modern adult lives.

Like real life, the stories of these characters are messy and the discussions of hard topics such as addiction, violence, suicide, communally inherited trauma, and toxic relationships feels true to life and neither exploitive or sanitised.

This is a really good book and I'm glad it's getting a lot of attention. My only worry is that for some people it may become 'The One Trans Book You Need to Read' and that these people won't be open to learning about trans experiences that don't align with this book or feel like just by reading this book they need not learn or think any more about trans lives.

16 people found this helpful

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why must writers focus on all the crap?

This was so depressing and horrible. It is hard to understand the urge to write such unsympathetic trans characters.

9 people found this helpful

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Being an edgelord isn't profound

The author writes as though her edgelord ideas are profound universal truths. A book for sad, nihilistic misanthropes. The kinds of people who like Bukowski and say Fight Club is their favourite movie.

8 people found this helpful

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A story I needed

Never have I read something that has so beautifully tackled the concepts of transness, family, and womanhood. This novel really embodies why the narrative of trans women 'not understanding what it means to be women' is so ridiculous and misinformed. Trans women understand the complexities and hypocrisies of womanhood perhaps more than anyone, because they have to find their own place within it. Also, as a fellow trans person the overanalyzing and philosophical contemplation of every interaction felt so real and relatable.

This novel is hilarious, witty, vulnerable and thoughtful. Got me thinking about gender from an angle I hadn't seen it from before. And god, the character development was delicious. Each main character was so fully fleshed out, devastatingly real and raw, hurting but strong. They felt like women I had known my whole life.

10/10 loved it and fully recommend whoever you are. This book will be a good friend, endearing and safe, yet willing to challenge you if need be.

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my favourite read of the year!

I am so sad because I have come to love the characters, I feel like I know them and now that I finished the book, I will never "see" them again.

2 people found this helpful

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What a kick to my cishet biases

This is a great story, a story that really rocked the biases I didn't know I had. I love that the story really tests what it means to be a queer family. This was well read and the story is one I will sit with for awhile.

2 people found this helpful

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Not for me

The prose was purple and the characters, though flawed and complex, not likeable.

The premise of the plot seemed so unlikely to me and I struggled to get past that.

The performance would have been good but I was struggling to differentiate the characters - although that may have been a function of the story and not the narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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hard to understand

couldn't get into it just wasn't me cant say anything more on it sorry x

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Beautiful book

The characters and plot were so well constructed that the story sticks to you. Important themes are discussed during the journey of each character, so it's a beautiful story with great insights about their world and journey, without being a specific book about their world and journey.

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Really loved this

A good insight into how the trans community can feel around children and the assumptions people make etc. Very good reading

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  • Sophie
  • 04-04-21

Wonderful - I couldn’t stop listening

An insightful (and funny) deep dive into what it means to be both a woman and a mother. Thank you Torrey - I’ve reflected a great deal on my experience as a cis woman (& my heteronormative pathway to motherhood)!