7 Questions – The Writers: Jennifer Finney Boylan
The trans memoir practically constitutes its own genre, with varying degree of success. Like self-published poetry, you sometimes get the sense that the story is more important for the author to tell than it is for the audience to hear. For 10 years, She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders, by Jennifer Finney Boylan, has stood out. This is due in large part to the writing itself. Jenny was an established author before her transition. She knows how to craft a story, make you care about her characters, even if they’re real people, and she has an astonishing capacity for finding humor in unexpected moments.
Ultimately, She’s Not There achieves that quality peculiar to great art, universality through profound treatment of the particular. If her story has found such a wide audience because of its universality, it’s that much more meaningful for those of us who share her particularity. Jenny’s memoir had a profound impact on me, and on many of the other trans women I’ve known. It was the first time I saw myself in a story, the value of which simply can’t be overstated.
That’s why I’m delighted that Jenny is sharing a bit more of herself through answering our 7 Questions. Look for her startling confession at 3:40, wise advice from her own mother, and some playfully shifting light. There may even be singing.
Jenny’s new book, Stuck in the Middle with You: a memoir of Parenthood in Three Genders, comes out in April 2013, which will also coincide with the 10th Anniversary Edition of She’s Not There. Order both, and keep up with all things Jennifer Finney Boylan, via her website.
Thank you Jenny! And I hope all those watching follow her lead and tell their own stories here.