'A great many people, sick of news from the margins, worn out by the sand shifting beneath their assumptions, like to imagine Nature as a sweet, simple voice: tulips in spring, Vermont's leaves falling in autumn. Nature is more like Aretha Franklin: vast, magnificent, capricious, occasionally hilarious, and infinitely varied.' 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'.
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.