Friday, May 09, 2003

Novelist Amy Bloom recently published her first nonfiction book, Normal: Transsexual CEOs, Crossdressing Cops, and Hermaphrodites with Attitude. It’s a tidy and succinct package, only 140 pages including bibliography, and is nicely written if not astounding in its insights. Bloom notes in the book’s preface that her point isn’t to take a long, medical/psychological looks at those blurring the gender line, but to tell their personal stories. She largely succeeds, though I wish she’d gone more in depth with most of her subjects, such as Lyle Monelle, “a burly man of twenty-eight” who was born, genetically, female. Normal is made of three chapters, discussing female-to-male transsexuals, heterosexual crossdressers, and the intersexed, all interesting to anyone interested in human sexuality and our concepts of gender. The book’s biggest problem is its lack of depth - I wanted to know more about these people and what (they feel) makes them tick. A good, quick read - too quick. But worthwhile nonetheless.

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