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Crossing

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  160 ratings  ·  18 reviews
We have read the stories of those who have "crossed" lines of race and class and culture. But few have written of crossing—completely and entirely—the gender line. Crossing is the story of Deirdre McCloskey (formerly Donald), once a golden boy of conservative economics and a child of 1950s and 1960s privilege, and her dramatic and poignant journey to becoming a woman. McCl ...more
Paperback, 282 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by University of Chicago Press (first published November 10th 1999)
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3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  160 ratings  ·  18 reviews


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Owen
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1995, economics professor Donald McCloskey's second child had gone off to college, and in the empty nest he indulged a little bit more in a habit of decades: cross-dressing. But with the new freedom he found it wasn't just an isolated habit and he wanted to take it further and further, become more and more a woman: by the end of the year he'd changed his name to Deirdre and was living full-time as a woman, and by summer of 1996 Deirdre had gone to Australia for The Operation. His wife had div ...more
Molly
Nov 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating memoir. McCloskey, a successful economics professor, transitioned to a woman in middle age, and she tells this story with great emotion and candor. She has strong ideas about what it means to be a woman, what it is to be feminine, and many will find this frustrating (as I often did), but it is also entirely understandable. She's a smart and brave narrator, and I highly recommend this book.
John
Jul 28, 2010 rated it liked it
With a transgender student arriving in September, I wanted to gain some understanding of the issues/psychology involved. This book, although incredibly annoyingly written by the author in 3rd person, does offer a fascinating insight into transexual and cross-gendered people and issues.
Jamie (Books and Ladders)
I quite enjoyed this as a means of learning and understanding more about transgender individuals and their similarities and differences when transitioning, but the style of writing was horrendous to me and the gender roles that McCloskey imposes upon herself and appears to judge other women based on are not healthy. I don't think this should be read alone, but alongside Roxane Gay's "Bad Feminist" or even Kelly Jensen's edited volume "Here We Are: Feminism For The Real World" so if you do read t ...more
Jessica
Oct 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer-trans
I found it well written. McCloskey escapes the male privilege of cross dressing and pre-1990s transsexualism even if she lacks the emergent vocabulary of transgenderism. Her account of being transgender in the academy even if minimal, is encouraging. This book brought me to tears four or five times. I find her to be a very intelligent and good person.
Diana Wills
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I happened to hear an interview of this author years ago. One thing she said stayed with me: that what made her cry as a woman were the things that made her angry as a man.
Her memoir is truly fascinating! I will probably read it again.
Carl
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was ok


This is a very odd book. I respect the author's struggle to cross from a man to a woman, but this book really bogs down I the constant consideration and reconsideration.
Dylan Groves
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
three takeaways:

1 - transsexualism is about identity, not decisions
2 - its not about the sex
3 - its really hard on the family
Erin Ramsay
3.5. Just didn’t really like the writing style.
Sheila
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
“Being a woman is what you do... not what your wear. Caring, watching, noticing.” So says Deirdre N. McCloskey, quoting lessons learned when she was still Donald. He contrasts “the self-deprecating style women use when charming others of their tribe” with “the boasting of my tribe.” And he realizes, like a New Yorker whose heart is really in the South, that he wants to be someone else.

I was an adult when I became an American. My husband and I forced a whole new world and culture on our children.
...more
N.D. Hendrix
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a sucker for those rare but special books in which an academic turns their focus towards themselves (the apotheosis of the genre might be Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's A Dialogue On Love), and this is no exception. It traces a very particular line through its author's life as she goes from furtive cross-dresser to post-operative gender crosser (to use her preferred calque).

I can't intelligently comment on the parts of the memoir where she describes, mostly by showing, what gender crossing is -- I
...more
Miranda Visser
Jan 27, 2014 rated it liked it
At risk of McCloskey throwing me into the category of feminists for which she shows so much disdain, I find her definition of women very limited and thus exclusionary. Perhaps it's due to the dated nature of this book, but under the characteristics that she defines as integral to the status of "women" I am not woman.

This subscription to social constructs linked to specific gender is alarming for someone in this community. She is quick to dismiss opinions alternate to her own with comments along
...more
Kate M
May 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
Another I'm reading for class. Again, not something I'd normally pick up, but transgender memoirs are quite rare, as many do not ever fully "cross" and this is interesting to me. I'm glad I had the opportunity to read this, but having finished it I'm not sure I'd recommend it, except as a narrative to provide insight into the transgender experience. Like many of the narratives I've read for this class (for which this was also assigned) I found it to be coming from a point of view of someone with ...more
Jennavier
Aug 07, 2013 marked it as didn-t-finish
I've been curious about the lives of transgender people. So many in our culture describe it as clear cut either for good or for bad. I was interested in hearing about all the tiny choices that led up to and came from a big one. Sadly Crossing isn't the novel to tell me. Despite what should be an electric story line the boring narrator lost me.
Homa
Jul 03, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book utterly boring.

I disliked this book immensely. I hated the way she treated her family especially her children. I did not relate to any part of her struggles. Completely bogus.
shay
Aug 27, 2008 rated it liked it
this was an interesting book but poorly written. the whole thing was in third person which was really distracting and disconcerting. i enjoyed reading about her experiences, but wish it was written better.
Laura
Jun 03, 2013 marked it as to-read
Recommends it for: Chrissie, Hayes, Bettie, Carey and Wanda
Free download available at The University of Chicago Press books
Bill Zhou
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
The last book I read in 2016, and the first book I read in 2017.
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Deirdre N. McCloskey has been since 2000 UIC Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English, and Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Trained at Harvard as an economist, she has written fifteen books and edited seven more, and has published some three hundred and sixty articles on economic theory, economic history, philosophy, rhetoric, feminism, ethics, and law. She tau ...more
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