Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family

Amy Ellis Nutt. Random House, $27 (304p) ISBN 978-0-8129-9541-1
This poignant account of a transgender girl's transition offers a heartfelt snapshot of a family whose only objective is to protect their daughter. Tackling the subject from a biological, social, and psychological viewpoint, Pulitzer-winning reporter Nutt (Shadows Bright as Glass) weaves complex elements of what being transgender means into a compelling narrative about a young woman who has identified as female since early childhood. Her middle-class family in rural Maine struggle to navigate the American education, legal, and medical systems in order for their daughter to "become Nicole." Tensions around a court case involving the designation of male and female bathrooms, Nicole's evolving relationship with her father, and the family's conflict between privacy and advocacy advance the story. Writing in a very journalistic tone, Nutt succeeds in placing Nicole's individual story within the more general narrative of transgender rights in the United States and humanizes the issues currently at play. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 12/14/2015
Release date: 10/01/2015
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-8129-9543-5
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-8129-9542-8
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