November 01, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST

Normal: Transsexual CEOs, Crossdressing Cops, and Hermaphrodites with Attitude

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Amy Bloom
genre
Nonfiction

Fiction writer Bloom challenges our ”reassuring bulwarks” of ”normal” with her nonfiction debut exploring gender identity. A practicing psychotherapist, Bloom resists dry analysis here, opting for colorful stories instead: She travels to Montana to meet female-to-male transsexuals, befriends a gaggle of cross-dressers on a Carnival cruise, and introduces us to the nation’s preeminent hermaphrodite activist. At times, the pronoun jumbling and clinical jargon are confusing, but Bloom’s stellar writing ultimately gets her points across: ”Nature is not two little notes on a child’s flute; Nature is more like Aretha Franklin: vast, magnificent, capricious — occasionally hilarious — and infinitely varied.” Making her effort — and subjects — worthy of r-e-s-p-e-c-t.

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