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The Barcelona Review



Transgender Fiction

The first books concerning transgender issues tended to be memoir and theory, but in recent times we have seen a great deal in fiction. Indentify the novels published within this millennium (with the exception of two written in the 90s), IF YOU WISH TO HAVE A GO before seeing the answers, click here

1. Irish trans woman escapes from her home town and a drunken foster mother to find herself and the biological mother who gave her away.
Breakfast on Pluto by Patrick McCabe

2. Features a gay, transgender man named Oshima who is friends with the main character.
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

3. 42-year-old Allison Banks—heterosexual, long divorced, mother of a college student, and a grade school teacher—begins a relationship with single, attractive, 35-year-old Dana Stevens, who, early on in the relationship, confesses that he has always believed he was female, though he desires women, and is soon to undergo a long-planned sex change operation
Trans-Sister Radio by Chris Bohlajian

4. Young trans woman living in New York City tries to stay true to her punk values while working retail; all changes when she finds out her girlfriend has lied to her.
Nevada by Imogen Binnie

5. J was born Jenifer but has never felt female. Now on the verge of 18, he wants to be "more than just a hovering brain without a body," and starts to transition to male.
I Am J by Cris Beam

6. The year is 2404, and America is no more. In a land ruled by an oppressive theocracy being gay is a capital offense, adultery is punished with the lash, women are forbidden to work, and forced marriages are common. As her sixteenth birthday nears and she must marry, one young girl faces certain death from the disclosure of her secret – she was born a boy.
The Butterfly and the Flame by Dana de Young

7. “I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of l974. . .”
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

8. Popular fictionalized account of the life of a Danish painter, one of the first people to undergo sex reassignment surgery.  
The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff

9.  First young adult novel to tell the story of a transgender girl from her perspective. She begins to come out during her junior year of high school, first to her girlfriend Claire and then, with the help of an understanding therapist, to her family.   
Being Emily by Rachel Gold

10. One of the first books to seriously explore the gender identity of its protagonist, this 1993 novel follows “stone butch” Jess Goldberg through the nightmare of small-town America before she decides to stay safe and live as man.
Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg

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