Detransition, Baby

This book, longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, is about trans feminine culture. The story navigates between it’s three principle characters; Reese, Amy/Ames and Katrina. Reese is a trans woman who is forever walking a fine line of societal perception of her trans-ness and her own reality of being a woman. She is desperately wanting to be a mother however her inherent resentment and angst makes her sabotage all the good choices and relationships. It makes her seek transphobic and misogynistic men for sexual gratification who leave her depleted and consumed.

Amy is a trans woman who later detransitions to Ames, due to complicated reasons. Amy and Reese were in a romantic relationship previously. However, Ames now is involved with Katrina who is a cis woman and has got her pregnant. This circumstance and each of the characters’ insecurities forces the three of them to consider the possibility of all three parenting the unborn child.

This book is a no nonsense yet vulnerable storytelling of trans lives. The characters are damaged and dysfunctional and the author doesn’t try to sugarcoat or patronise it. It’s a believably chaotic and nuanced exploration of modern relationships and parenting. The author deftly handles issues of gender, detransitioning, heteronormativity and queer culture with sensitivity and impartiality.

Through the book, Torrey Peters, brings to life an experience of human relations via trans and cis lived truths and bourgeois realities. Torrey who is a trans woman herself, presents intersectionality as a layered subtext throughout the book. This leaves us, as a reader, questioning a lot of our assumptions and prejudices.

In a word, Triumphant!


Author: theshinydiaries

Being authentic; one day at a time!

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