cover image She Wants It: Desire, Power, and Toppling the Patriarchy

She Wants It: Desire, Power, and Toppling the Patriarchy

Jill Soloway. Crown Archetype, $27 hardcover (288p) ISBN 978-1-101-90474-9

This intimate, funny memoir from Soloway, the creator of the Amazon TV series Transparent, is many things at once: a behind-the-scenes look at the entertainment industry, a sometimes tumultuous but ultimately positive coming-out narrative, a wry and reflective family history, a cri de coeur about gender-based societal strictures, and a success story of, after some missteps, building a workplace culture around allyship. Soloway, who is nonbinary and uses the pronoun they, identified as female when they created Transparent—a show about a Jewish family managing life after the revelation that the person family members knew as their father and husband identifies as a woman—based on their own then-recent experiences with the parent they now call “Moppa.” Soloway explicitly addresses the backlash regarding the casting of cis man Jeffrey Tambor as transwoman Maura—Soloway originally chose him because of the resemblance he bore to their moppa, Carrie—and their handling of accusations of sexual harassment by Tambor. But this is more than just a showbiz chronicle; it’s a personal reflection, and Soloway shows incredible warmth toward almost everyone in their circle and toward their past self, even when it’s clear they’re looking back on professional or romantic choices they would not have made in retrospect. Soloway’s sharp humor carries the day in an unusually kind and self-aware memoir that will both make readers laugh and leave them optimistic. (Oct.)