June Thomas of Slate reports on newly released book titles and the world of publishing in The Book Reader.
Do you remember being 17? The desire to fit in, the dejection when you didn’t, wondering if you would ever find your people and your purpose?
TV writer Ariel Schrag obviously recalls this confusing time, because in “Adam”, just out from Mariner Books, she absolutely nails it.
Adam Freedman, the hero of the novel, flies from Berkeley, California, to spend the summer before his senior year of high school with his lesbian sister in Brooklyn. It’s 2006, and at a demonstration for marriage equality, Adam meets Gillian, the woman of his dreams. That she’s a lesbian might seem like the end of his fantasy, but when she jumps to the conclusion that Adam is a trans guy, he doesn’t correct her. And thus begins a tortured deception. Adam’s dishonesty is unforgivable, but somehow telling a lie helps him realize some enormous truths that change the way he understands the world and the people closest to him.
“Trans Bodies, Trans Selves,” published by Oxford University Press, is a huge and incredibly important book. Its 650 pages cover just about every facet of the transgender experience — medical, legal, psychological, political, and cultural — and throughout, editor Laura Erickson-Schroth does a fantastic job of incorporating the voices of trans people from around the world. It’s a resource that will answer just about any question. I have no doubt that this book will save lives.
For takes on other life-saving and life-changing books, visit the Slate Book Review at slate.com/books.