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Trans-Sister Radio av Chris Bohjalian
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Trans-Sister Radio (utgåvan 2000)

av Chris Bohjalian (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,0763314,289 (3.62)27
From the bestselling author of Midwives comes a thought-provoking story about gender, love, and new relationships. When Allison Banks develops a crush on Dana Stevens, she knows that he will give her what she needs most: attention, gentleness, kindness, passion. Her daughter, Carly, enthusiastically witnesses the change in her mother. But then a few months into their relationship, Dana tells Allison his secret: he has always been certain that he is a woman born into the wrong skin, and soon he will have a sex-change operation. Allison, overwhelmed by the depth of her passion, finds herself unable to leave Dana. By deciding to stay, she finds she must confront questions most people never even consider. Not only will her own life and Carly' s be irrevocably changed, she will have to contend with the outrage of a small Vermont community and come to terms with her lover's new body-hoping against hope that her love will transcend the physical.… (mer)
Medlem:TopazGenderExplorer7
Titel:Trans-Sister Radio
Författare:Chris Bohjalian (Författare)
Info:HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd (2000)
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Queer, Trans

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Trans-Sister Radio av Chris Bohjalian

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Chris Bohjalian is a solid writer, turning out intricate characterizations of Vermonters, whose lives intersect in unexpected ways. Trans-Sister Radio, published in 2000, gives a sensitive look, through four points-of-view of a trans-sexual love affair and how a small town responds: with confusion, revulsion, compassion, insight. The ending was a bit too neatly tied up in a bow for my liking, but I appreciated how nuanced his approach was, and felt like I learned while being engrossed. ( )
  AnaraGuard | Nov 1, 2020 |
The title suggests the subject: a man, Dana, who has felt like he was a woman all his life decides to get a sex change. Before he does, however, he meets and falls in love with a woman, Allison. And doesn't tell her about his leanings until she too has fallen for him. The story follows the couple as they try to cope with their relationship in a fishbowl of a small town in Vermont, where Allison teaches sixth grade. She encounters significant prejudice and pressure from townspeople to move or quit her job.

Just about the whole story is revealed early on, but in a sideways manner. The story is told from the points of view of the main characters: Dana, Allison, Allison's ex-husband Will, and her daughter Carly. Interspersed with their chapters are excerpts from the transcript of a radio program on NPR (All Things Considered). The story is about their lives as well as about transsexuals in general. The radio series even interviews doctors who perform sex change operations about the details of those operations.

This isn't the first time I have read a book with multiple narrators. And the same thing has happened this time as the last: I could not get attached to any of them. I found myself irritated by Dana's cocksureness at times (an interesting choice of word, I admit), at her obtuseness when it came to how different it would be for Allison to love her as a woman than it was for her to love him as a man. I was not particularly affected by Allison's feelings, or in fact anyone's, even though I could understand, in some ways, the dilemmas they faced.

I was irritated by the lack of understanding of the staff of the local public radio station. Generally I find public radio personnel to be very open to differences. They sounded like they were from the back country somewhere at times. Will, the head of the station, was not as out of it yet he too constantly agonized over the differences between "real" and "not real" women.

I was a little disturbed by the occasional references to just two genders. In fact, there are people who are neither male nor female, who simply do not identify as either. I would think Dana would be aware of this but I can imagine instead that she was too self-involved.

I was okay with Carly, perhaps most of all. She was on the sidelines. She accepted Dana coming and going, without much need for introspection. Her own life took a back seat to the drama in her parents', of course.

Not a winner in my opinion. I suspect that others were more affected by the personalities on the page. I hope somebody like that gets to read it next. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
I enjoyed this story about love -- and how that relates to sexuality. We have Allison falling in love with a man -- only to find out that "he" is a transgender lesbian woman. Allison stands by Dana through sexual reassignment surgery and beyond and tries to keep an open mind. Allison loves Dana but she isn't gay. Can it work? Allison's ex-husband (and good friend), Will, doesn't like Dana when he meets him and thinks he is abnormal. But Will becomes fond of Dana after her surgery. (I'm using pronouns to match the presenting gender at the time of the story.) The book explores the many facets of sexuality and the deep psychological identification of gender, which doesn't always "match" how the world sees you. Good characters, and a story that would provoke a lot of discussion.

One criticism: at times, the book read more like a magazine article (and not just during the transcripts of a radio show the characters appear in) than a novel. Almost a clinical, non-fiction description of things that took me out of the plot. ( )
  LynnB | Jul 12, 2020 |
Book on CD read by Judith Ivey (abridged).

The novel is told by the four central characters: Dana, Carly, Allison and Will. Dana is a professor at a local college. Carly is the teenaged daughter of Allison and Will, who are long divorced. When Allison takes a course at the university she meets Dana, and they begin dating. Dana is cultured, intelligent, a great cook and an attentive lover. But he’s hiding a secret. Dana’s always know that she is really a woman in a man’s body, and has already made plans for gender-reassignment surgery.

Bohjalian tackles blended families, small town politics, prejudice, marriage, relationships, and the idea of “love conquers all” in this novel. If that sounds a little messy … well, the relationships between these characters, and the townspeople are somewhat messy as well. At one point Dana even comments that her university, where she had daily contact with students, had no problem with her gender-reassignment, while the parents and administrators of the middle school where Allison taught clearly wanted her fired just for her association with “that pervert.” And then there’s Will… Will’s second marriage is strained by his apparent interest in Allison’s new relationship. Is he jealous that some other man is interested in his ex-wife?

Like I said it’s messy and complicated. A lot like real life. Bohjalian’s story forces the reader to examine (and re-examine) the labels we assign to people and the knee-jerk reactions we have to those labels.

I was intrigued and the story held my interest, but I don’t think it’s Bohjalian’s best effort. I wasn’t a great fan of the interjection of the radio interviews (Will is a manager of Vermont Public Radio, and Dana’s situation becomes a focus of a story on NPR). I thought they interrupted the flow of the story, though they were a convenient way to expand on how various people felt about the issues.

The audiobook is capably performed by Judith Ivey. I really liked the voices she used for Dana, Carly and Allison. But I couldn’t stand the gravelly voice she gave to Will. It certainly made it easy to tell who was who, but it just seemed so false. There is an unabridged audio version of this book, but my library didn’t carry it. Once I realized it was abridged, I resorted to the text copy to fill in the blanks. There was nothing crucial to the plot missing from the abridged audio, but I definitely got more character development from the text. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jun 18, 2018 |
Chris Bohjalian certainly knows his way around a story and this is quite a story. It falls in the category of fiction that is provocative (in the best sense) and unsettling. It is told from the points of view of three characters. Allison is a divorced woman who is the daughter of a teenage daughter (Carly). She falls in love with a university professor (Dana) who she learns is only months away from a gender reassignment surgery to become a woman. Her ex-husband and Carly's father, Will, is a public radio station manager. They all live in a small town in rural Vermont. Each take turns as narrator and we get a chance to peer inside them to see how are they coping with this momentous change. Needless to say, the community at large becomes involved and plays a significant role as well.

Reading a story like this is an exercise in trying on other points of view. How would I handle this situation if I were any of these characters. What is it like to walk in their shoes? This becomes a place of safety to consider some difficult issues. ( )
  TerryLewis | Jun 12, 2017 |
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Should one deal with our sister as with a harlot? - Genesis 34:31
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Periodically this year we have explored what we've called the Nature of Love: those strange and wondrous ways we can find our soul sparked by somebody else.
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From the bestselling author of Midwives comes a thought-provoking story about gender, love, and new relationships. When Allison Banks develops a crush on Dana Stevens, she knows that he will give her what she needs most: attention, gentleness, kindness, passion. Her daughter, Carly, enthusiastically witnesses the change in her mother. But then a few months into their relationship, Dana tells Allison his secret: he has always been certain that he is a woman born into the wrong skin, and soon he will have a sex-change operation. Allison, overwhelmed by the depth of her passion, finds herself unable to leave Dana. By deciding to stay, she finds she must confront questions most people never even consider. Not only will her own life and Carly' s be irrevocably changed, she will have to contend with the outrage of a small Vermont community and come to terms with her lover's new body-hoping against hope that her love will transcend the physical.

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