No Way Rene: The Second Half of My Notorious Life

Renee Richards, Author, John Ames, With . S&S $25 (302p) ISBN 978-0-7432-9013-5

Tennis star turned transsexual, Richards retreads much ground from her 1986 autobiography, Second Serve , while opening a window on the consequences of her choices. Born in 1934, Richard Raskind was a Yale tennis star, had a navy stint and became a well-known eye surgeon. Always feeling that he was a woman, Raskind was on and off hormone therapy from the early 1960s, but married in 1969 and fathered a son. Six years later, he underwent sex reassignment surgery and became Renée Richards. What's new are the personal elements of Richards's life since then: her friendship and coaching experience with Martina Navratilova and her evolving, often conflicted relationship with son Nick. Holding Rastafarian beliefs and resenting his father, Nick skipped off to Jamaica at the age of 13 and had to be kidnapped back to the U.S. While the family fights and complications of surgery take place in the context of the author's transsexualism, they are mostly ordinary, as is much of her current life as "an old-fashioned American." More interesting is Richards's discomfort with current radical transgender identities and politics and her searing list of regrets at the end of the book, where she finally opens up emotionally. B&w photos. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/18/2006
Release date: 02/01/2007
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4165-3850-9
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-7432-9014-2
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