Monday, July 8, 2013

Review: Stuck in the Middle with You

As a woman who transitioned from being a man, Boylan has experience as a father, a mother, and a person in the middle of changing from one sex to the other and one gender to the other. This is not a book about the sex change, it is a book about parenting written by one of the few people who can claim to have experience as both father and mother in the literal sense. Boylan finds that the experience of being father and mother is fundamentally not all that different. Her worries about transition disrupting her children's lives have come to naught. It's clear that the Boylans have raised two thoughtful and compassionate children.

This was an engaging book, and it made me think about what life must be like when for no reason of one's own choosing every action and family choice is considered political. Boylan's writing is thoughtful and very readable. This book deals with a variety of family and gender issues. It also includes a series of interviews with other writers who have had different experiences of parenting and gender. I generally found these to be far less interesting than the main text, and I preferred reading Boylan's own story.

Jennifer Finney Boylan, Stuck in the Middle with You: A Memoir of Parenting in Three Genders (Crown, 2013) ISBN: 0767921763 

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