cover image Becoming a Man: The Story of a Transition

Becoming a Man: The Story of a Transition

P. Carl. Simon & Schuster, $26 (240p) ISBN 978-1-9821-0509-9

In this deeply personal and moving debut memoir, theater writer Carl shares the story of his difficult yet triumphant gender transition. After living as a queer woman for most of his life, Carl transitioned at age 51. His longtime wife, Lynette, had a hard adjustment, one that Carl struggled to understand—“I never equated my transition, becoming me, with leaving you,” Carl writes to Lynette. “I felt I was appearing in the relationship for the first time.” Carl’s raw, thoughtful musings on the life he now lives—and how powerless he was as a woman (as a graduate student, Carl was nearly raped by another student), yet how privileged he suddenly is as a white man—are incisive and intimate, ranging from empathy for Christine Blasey Ford, accuser of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, to a somewhat shameful satisfaction at talking “shit [about his wife] with another guy right before I walk in the house and have to deal with whatever it is we’re arguing about.” Carl’s honest, timely musings illustrate the deep ruminations that can arise about one’s assigned gender at birth and the gender one becomes. Carl’s thoughts about sexuality and his compassionate feelings for sexual assault survivors will captivate readers from the first page to the last. (Jan.)