Friday, December 31, 2010

Book Review: Trans-Sister Radio (Book 60 of 100)

rans-Sister Radio by Chris Bohjalian is the best book I've ever read. I rate it a 9.95. I am surprised that the best written work I'd ever found was written by cis (comfortably bodily gendered), white, able-bodied man about transgender people, Normally, I hate dominant culture authors views of marginalized people, but Chris was different. He treated this story and his characters gently and with the love that I shower upon my own literary creations. One, upon reading it, would assume that he interacts with a lot of trans people to have created a person as real and vibrant and whole as Dana (the trans woman in the tale), her partner Alison, Will the dad with a big twist in the end; I won't tell you what though, and spunky, happy college girl Carly.

The story is the tale of XY born Dana Stevens, who undergoes sex reassignment surgery, and her partner and sixth grade teacher Alison Banks and her daughter high school senior to college sophomore (she ages throughout the book) Carly. There is also Will, the ex and dad, and Tricia, her dad's second wife. Alison loves male Dana and is straight so, therefore. less than thrilled when her man is about to become her woman. However, she gives it a go with Dana, the woman. Her town is less happy and the pair faces homophobia and Alison even has half of her students removed from her class as a result of her relationship.

I liked the way the book was set up. It was intertwined with the world of National Public Radio (NPR), an organization which I love. You get a good view of NPR in the story in addition to the interpersonal relationships.

The thing I liked best about this book is that it give me plenty of ideas for my own transgender/superhero storyline, featuring favorite characters Li (the trans man) and Frankie (his girlfriend, who is rather unhappy- to put it lightly- with his transition plan). TSR has given me lots of ideas about scenes between Li, Frankie, and their friends. Don't worry, though, Chris; I won't plagiarize just use your ideas as a jumping off point.

I am going to buy a print copy of this book, so I can underline and remember my scene ideas for my own novel. I also want to own a copy I can lend it out. This book feels very important and share worthy. I will probably buy it in July. I'm really looking forward to sharing it with friends and possibly suggesting to my book clubs. It was amazing, flatly amazing. If you write, read this book. It'll make you a better writer. If you read, read this book. It might change your life. It changed mine and I don't say that often.

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