The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell

William Klaber. Greenleaf, $24.95 (307p) ISBN 978-1-60832-563-4
In Klaber's fictional memoir set in 1855 and based on a true story, Lucy Ann Lobdell—after being deserted by her husband and leaving her young daughter, Helen, in the care of her family—leaves Basket Creek, N.Y., and begins a new life—as a man. As Joseph Israel Lobdell, Lucy moves first to Honesdale, Pa., and teaches music, then to what was then Minnesota Territory, doing odd jobs. After being outed as a woman both in Pennsylvania and Minnesota, Lucy ends up in the Pennsylvania poorhouse, where she resumes living as a man. Lucy later marries Marie Louise Perry by a justice of the peace who doesn't know Lucy's true gender, and she finally ends up committed to an insane asylum. All that is true and verifiable. What makes this story stand out is the author's skill in imagining the life of a transgender man in a time when women had virtually no power in the world and when any identity other than straight and cisgender was considered a grave mental illness. By serving as Lucy's voice—not to mention doing what was obviously a great deal of historical research—the author becomes her advocate and encourages readers to do the same. A unique and important book.
Reviewed on: 07/08/2013
Show other formats
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-1-250-06187-4
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4668-6795-6
Hardcover - 304 pages - 978-1-60832-562-7
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