She's Not There
But when I finished, I felt like SOMETHING definitely wasn't there.
I wanted more from the memoir.
I wanted to know why Boylan always identified with women, even though she was born male - the deep psychological reasons. Was her father not home enough? Not loving enough? Did she have an especially close relationship with her mother? Was there so...more
Jennifer's writing is brilliant, and she can capture the riotous absurdity of an event with amazing clarity and compassion. Apart from any aspects of her transsexuality, she's a great writing, and although I tend to avoid memoir, I would have read about her life and memories even if she'd had a conventional sexuality. The episo...more
I don't think that Boylan's story tries to...more
1 - It's very well written - the author is an English professor in an East Coast college...
2 - It takes courage for a transsexual to make the transition.
3 - It takes courage for the wife of a transsexual to watch her spouse make the transition.
4 - I am SO glad I never had to deal with this dilemma
5 - I wonder what it takes to live with the knowledge you are not what you seem. Courage, fortitude, integrity.
6 - I wonder how many others in this world live w...more
I went into this book thinking that I would learn more about what it means to be transsexual and...more
Though regarding mystery, this book ultimately touches on what Russo sums up in his loving afterword - mysteries "which reside at our human center, constitute the deeper truths of our being" whcih "we often keep sec...more
I must have missed something. I looked at the reviews on Amazon (to see if I'm the nut, usually) and most reviewers said something to the effect of how this book gave them some grand understanding of transgender.
I found the treatment relatively superficial in that regard. I do like her sense of humor so I'm going to get one of her novels to read.
It was a great read, the ever-praised funny+poignant memoir. The tale was well-structured but also interesting at pretty much any random point you might browse into.
The author is as normal...more
This book was very literally life changing for me, but i...more
This is the first proper autobiography or memoir of a trans* person I've read, all the other related books on my shelf being chiefly theory, science, or politics. Frankly, though, this is what I want to curl up in bed (literally) and read. Philosophy, science, and political tracts belong to the 'angrily checking off the damnin...more
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...more
that said, i cam...more
The thing I liked least about this book, honestly, was the title. Never having heard the song "She's Not There," I guess I might be missing something, but I honestly don't see how it ties in with the story. (Except for the scene at the end where Jenny turns around to talk to Grace and Grace isn't standing where she had been standing before... I didn't really understand the point of that scene either.) I guess theoretically it could be referring to Jim's refusal to admit that he w...more
Two slight complaints: we rarely hear an analysis of the why o...more
I think this safe business is in part because large chunks of this book are explanations that someone with no experience with trans* issues requires (word-for-word dialogue of conversations...more
This was a captivating book, as evidenced by the fact that I had every intention of going to bed an hour ago, but found myself unable to do so until I reached the end. With poignancy and great humor, Boylan tells her story of growing up Transgendered and finding her way to allowing herself to...more
SH: Transsexuals--United States; Gender Identity--United States; Novelists, American--20th century--Biography; DC21: 813'.54
Very informative first person account of a transsexual woman candidly telling her experience with lots of shedding life wisdom along the way. Finney Boylan's work is filled with great quotes:
'Not anybody, but the person I became. I think we are who we are because consciously, or unconsciously, we choose ourselves.'
Edward Albee summed up her oeuvre in 1988: -- "Boylan observes carefully, and with love. [Her] levitating wit is wisely tethered to a humane concern…. I often broke into laughter, and was now and again, struck with wonder."
Jenny's memoir, She's Not There, published by Broadway Books in 2003, was one of the first bestselling works by a...more