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Sexual Metamorphosis: An Anthology of Transsexual Memoirs

3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  120 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
But who could describe my fright when, on the next morning, I awoke and found myself feeling as if completely changed into a woman. — Case 129, Autobiography, from Psychopathia Sexualis, a Medico-Forensic Study by Richard Von Krafft-Ebing
At the time the passage above was written, people who felt trapped in the wrong gender automatically became case-studies. Today they bec
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 12th 2005 by Vintage (first published February 1st 2005)
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Nov 07, 2013 Jordan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Compassionate Humans
Recommended to Jordan by: Kara Rae Garland
A comprehensive and eye-opening collection of essays, letters, and excerpts from transsexual people, both male-to-female and female-to-male. From the early diagnoses of sexual dysfunction to the later treatments and operations, I was transfixed.

(Heh, transfixed, that was unintentional. Sorry.)

I read this collection to gather materials for a mini-unit on gender identity. As part of my graduate program, I am required to plan a mini-unit for high school Language Arts, on any topic or theme.

I cons
Sep 14, 2011 Anhelo rated it liked it
This book is a compilation of transsexual memoirs so expect variety in writing style. Some of my favorite excerpts were from "She's not there" by Jennifer Finney Boyland, "Crossing" by Deidre McCloskey, "Body Alchemy" by Loren Cameron, and "Conundrum" by Jan Morris. I believe all these passages can be found in the original books. Expect a few memoirs to be filled with extreme detail on surgical procedures and insights about physical and emotional pain. I enjoyed the most those who were about dea ...more
Oct 07, 2015 n rated it really liked it
A collection of excerpts of various memoirs or autobiographies written by (binary) trans people, mainly women (like three trans men featured), from the late 1800s to the early 2000s. All of it is very focused on surgical transition. Also the majority of the authors are pretty well-to-do, and all white people as far as I can see. The editor, Ames, makes it clear in his introduction he has something of a fetishistic interest in trans women, which was off-putting, but of course all he wrote was the ...more
Nicholas Harrison
May 13, 2014 Nicholas Harrison rated it it was amazing
I found this anthology entertaining and enlightening all-together. I would re-read this book.
Chris Ma
Aug 17, 2013 Chris Ma rated it really liked it
A nice anthology that especially pays attention to the many aspects of transition: the physical change procedure, the decision-making, the protection of privacy, religious/spiritual support, familial conflict, romantic relationship, etc. - the variety shown in this small volume is impressive. I would recommend it especially to people who are not familiar with this topic and non-activist/academic/professionals, since its selection has a nice literary tone and a rhetorical power, which makes me aw ...more
Athena Dykman
Jan 20, 2013 Athena Dykman rated it it was amazing
An absolutely incredible inside view of the many faces of transsexualism and the struggles and sufferings they go through in order to feel comfortable in their own skin. From the 1800s comes a wonderful memoir of a man who had a problem he couldn't even put a name to, all the way to recent stories of adjusting families and uneasy acceptance.
I read this is two sittings, and it was an excellent, albeit coincidental buy. It shows me that yet again, people are people, and that their incredible journ
May 01, 2011 Krystal rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in gender transition
This book is a series of excerpts from individual's gender transition stories. It starts very early in the century and goes up through the 2000s. It includes and excerpts from Christine Jorgenson and Jennifer Finley Bolin. I found this to be a wonderfully intriguing book that made me want to read more about people's transition stories. The stories do not sugar coat the difficulties that these individuals have had to endure, so at times this book is quite sad.
Apr 10, 2011 Judith rated it really liked it
Some were...blah.! Who knew that a female tennis great and one of the Bond girls used to be males... I couldn't tell
which one the Bond actress was in the group picture ("This one is really tall...but so are many women. This one doesn't have wide
hips...well, neither do I...hmmm) But frankly, who cares, they are happy in the bodies they were meant to have and so am I. Let's
all have a toast to our amazing bodies!
May 16, 2009 Mike rated it it was ok
I read this book researching for a class. I was looking for some personal accounts of people who have decided to become transgendered. This book suited that purpose just fine. You will either like this book or you won't. If you want to hear the points of view of the people who go through this transition, you will find what you are looking for in this book.
Oct 18, 2007 Blake rated it liked it
Recommends it for: gender issues; transexualism
Interesting read; first couple were not very interesting and somewhat hard to follow; middle ones were good, and the last couple were sad, but also good.

Pretty quick read.
Nov 14, 2008 Haven rated it it was amazing
Reading this book helped me decide what to get my masters in
Shayna Goldstein
Dec 30, 2007 Shayna Goldstein rated it liked it
Not my fav. He compiled these stories but didn't write them.
Aug 20, 2012 Krista rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. Very good. Very interesting.
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Jonathan Ames is the author of the books The Double Life is Twice As Good, I Pass Like Night, The Extra Man, What's Not to Love?, My Less Than Secret Life, Wake Up, Sir!, I Love You More Than You Know, and The Alcoholic (a graphic novel illustrated by Dean Haspiel). He is the editor of Sexual Metamorphosis: An Anthology of Transsexual Memoirs.

He is the winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a f
More about Jonathan Ames...

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