cover image Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family

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.)