Normal : Transsexual CEOs, Crossdressing Cops and Hermaphrodites with Attitude

3.51 (448 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
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Journalist, psychotherapist and novelist Amy Bloom explores sex and gender through portraits of people who are widely considered not normal - transsexuals, crossdressers, hermaphrodites - a group of people larger and more 'normal' than most of us would imagine. There are men like Hale, a 'regular, middle-of-the-road, white-bread guy' with a wife, kids, and a medical condition, the standard treatment for which would have changed his life and his gender. Mothers like Jessie, who realised that her little girl was in fact a boy and used her life savings to help him make the transgender transition. And couples like Peggy and her husband, 'Melanie', who holiday on cruise ships along with fellow heterosexual crossdressers. Bloom cuts through the psychology by showing us these people as they really are and in their own words. This intimate portrait reinvents the idea of sex, gender, and identity, and the very concept of being 'normal'.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 13mm | 177g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0747564566
  • 9780747564560
  • 530,437

Review quote

"Part travelogue, part social exploration, Bloom uses compassion and humor to raise the possibility of expanding the American sexual spectrum."--"The Hartford Courant
""[F]luid and deftly contructed essays. . . . Bloom's unwillingness to embrace simple formulations, her insistence on digging deeper, is her book's strength." --"The New York Times Book Review
""This is an important book which says new and interesting things about sex "and "gender and - it is a "very" good read." -"Grace Paley
"Fascinating without being prurient. . . [Normal] opens new ways of viewing not only gender but our own inability to accept difference."--"Publisher's Weekly
""Colorful stories. . .stellar writing."--"Entertainment Weekly
""Amy Bloom's wonderful eye and ear are evident. . . She cares for her subjects but retains her objectivity; her great skill is in extracting and weaving from the specific stories her own original thesis about sexuality and gender. This is an important work."-Abraham Verghese, author of My Own Country"
""Such is Bloom's skill as an interviewer and a writer that she removes the sensationalism from the subject. . .She is an excellent writer and a sensitive listener."-"Deseret News
""As Amy Bloom walks us through her adventures in genderland, she draws compulsively readable pictures of the folks she met there."-"Out
""Wonderfully written, thoughtfully and compassionately told. . . A mind-opening, spirit-enlarging book."-Deborah Tannen, author of "You Just Don't Understand
""A moving examination of the variety of gender and erotic preferences."-"Kirkus Reviews
""Bloom dares the reader to be willingly confounded by her always engaging, frequently humorous interviewees while also airing her own reactions. . . An accessible, nonsensationalistic introduction to a fascinating and controversial subject."-"Library Journal
""Bloom's understanding of gender changed radically after her remarkable odyssey into the hidden worlds of female-to-male transsexuals, heterosexual cross-dressers, and hermaphrodites, so will her readers'."-"Booklist"
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About Amy Bloom

AMY BLOOM is the author of two short story collections, A BLIND MAN CAN SEE HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU and COME TO ME, and a novel, LOVE INVENTS US. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's Bazaar, and in many anthologies. A practicing psychotherapist, she lives in Connecticut and teaches at Yale University.
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Rating details

448 ratings
3.51 out of 5 stars
5 18% (81)
4 33% (148)
3 35% (156)
2 11% (48)
1 3% (15)
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