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Potomac Books


What Becomes You, What Becomes You, 0803210817, 0-8032-1081-7, 978-0-8032-1081-3, 9780803210813, Aaron Raz Link and Hilda Raz, American Lives, What Becomes You, 0803207344, 0-8032-0734-4, 978-0-8032-0734-9, 9780803207349, Aaron Raz Link and Hilda Raz, American Lives, What Becomes You, 0803216424, 0-8032-1642-4, 978-0-8032-1642-6, 9780803216426, Aaron Raz Link and Hilda Raz , American Live

What Becomes You
Aaron Raz Link and Hilda Raz

2007. 304 pp.
$24.95 t
Out of Stock
2008. 320 pp.
$17.95 t

“Being a man, like being a woman, is something you have to learn,” Aaron Raz Link remarks. Few would know this better than the coauthor of What Becomes You, who began life as a girl named Sarah and twenty-nine years later began life anew as a gay man. Turning from female to male and from teaching scientist to theatre performer, Link documents the extraordinary medical, social, legal, and personal process involved in a complete identity change. Hilda Raz, a well-known feminist writer and teacher, observes the process as both an “astonished” parent and as a professor who has studied gender issues. All these perspectives come into play in this collaborative memoir, which travels between women’s experience and men’s lives, explores the art and science of changing sex, maps uncharted family values, and journeys through a world transformed by surgery, hormones, love, and . . . clown school. Combining personal experience and critical analysis, the book is an unusual—and unusually fascinating—reflection on gender, sex, and the art of living.

Aaron Raz Link, a writer, performing artist, curator, and historian of science, is the director of the Museum of Nature in Portland, Oregon. Hilda Raz, a professor of English and women’s and gender studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is the Glenna Luschei Endowed Editor of Prairie Schooner and author of the poetry collections, Trans and Divine Honors.

“This deeply personal collaborative memoir details the multiple layers of the journey Child and Mom take on the road to Sarah becoming Aaron. This book can’t help but challenge the readers to rethink what they know about gender, sex, family relationships, and themselves. A compelling narrative, this is the best book I’ve read this year.”—OutSmart

“Scientist Link begins his fascinating account of gender reassignment by explaining scientific classification. . . . Raz writes of her child with rare and moving candor. . . . Mother and son’s poignant account becomes one of steadfast maternal love in the midst of changes only partly physical. Both knowingly return, always, to the terrain of the heart.”—Booklist

“A blend of essay, memoir and intergenerational dialogue, this title is stranger—and smarter—than the average transsexual memoir. . . . [An] oddly moving, more illuminating and memorable than a straightforward memoir could have been.”—Publishers Weekly Web-Exclusive

“Link tells the story with sharp emotion . . . [and] often startles with his acute observations. Raz writes in a clearer narrative style and her careful introspection adds to this already nuanced story. . . . [Link and Raz] continue to surprise and challenge us as they pull from their knowledge of biology and feminism, and fairy tales and psychiatry, to wrestle with understanding Link’s transsexuality. The memoir welcomes readers into a study of the struggles and complexity of relationships in any family.”—Bloomsbury Review

What Becomes You is the best memoir I’ve read in a decade. It is close to the bone, poetic without an ounce of sentimentality, full of humor and humanity, and excruciating in its self-examination. . . . This book is what happens when two extraordinary writers share intimate tales of self-discovery in prose that’s both exquisite and accessible.”—Glenn Scofield Williams, JustOut

"What Becomes You is the best kind of book. And not just because it’s funny and poetic, honest, personal, carefully researched and detailed, and hugely informative on the subjects of gender and transsexualism. It’s the best kind of book because it challenges readers to grow in the most critical ways. . . . [It] opens the reader to the present moment, to considering and investigating what 'is' instead of what the reader thinks should be. It makes us think before responding in habitual ways to those who are different from us. And in this world, I can’t think of anything that’s much more important than that right now."—Ellen Santasiero, The Source (Bend, OR)

2008 Lambda Literary Awards, sponsored by The Lambda Literary Foundation, finalist in the men's memoir and transgender categories
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