She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders by Jennifer Finney Boylan [in Library Journal]
Originally published in 2003, Jennifer Finney Boylan’s groundbreaking memoir chronicling her transition from James to Jenny was updated in 2013: “Man, what you don’t know could fill a book. I’m unique, however, in that the book filled with the things I don’t know is an actual book,” her tenth-anniversary foreword states with the same wry humor found throughout. With the transgender community’s growing media presence, an audio version makes a timely debut three years later.
For more than four decades, Boylan was a son, brother, husband, and father; the fateful falling in love with Dierdre Finney was supposed to be Boylan’s “cure” to the “illness” that made Boylan want to be someone else. Their love indeed cures but in ways surprising and bittersweet, tender and revelatory, and, finally, authentic and whole as Jenny becomes her true self.
Narrated by Boylan, the audiobook offers a unique gift impossible in print: Boylan’s best friend, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo, who undergoes his own evolution in understanding and accepting Boylan’s transition, reads the afterword he wrote; the last word, most fittingly, belongs to Boylan’s wife, Dierdre (called “Grace” throughout the memoir). For listeners of resonating, illuminating life stories, she’s right here.