Reviews tagging Forced institutionalization

Detransition, Baby, by Torrey Peters

2 reviews

val_so_'s review

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challenging emotional funny medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5


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suzyreadsbooks's review

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challenging dark emotional funny reflective medium-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

Review to come. This was so so so well done. 
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Forgot to ever put my review on here. :)
Thanks to One World & NetGalley for the e-copy! 
I’d highly recommend for anyone looking for literary fiction with complex, nuanced discussions about gender identity, motherhood, sexuality, & white trans women!! It was everything I was hoping for and more.

Major TWs for: infertility, miscarriage, transphobia, suicide, domestic violence, misogyny, homophobia

Full review:
I can’t stop thinking about this smart, funny, emotional book. Some other descriptors: Tender! Nuanced! Sad! Hard! Intimate! Biting! Ow!

Reese, a white trans woman, her white detransitioned ex Ames, & his Chinese Jewish cis divorced boss Katrina attempt to build a family. Taking place during Katrina’s pregnancy & in flashbacks, I was always intrigued to find out where the book would go next. The book was driven by the compelling unfurling of Reese & Ames’ pasts.

These are messy, imperfect, exasperating characters. They’re also lovable people trying to understand what they want in the world. Some fav topics covered: Clashing ideas of womanhood & femininity. Masking hard feelings w intellectualism. The roles sex & kink can play in exploring gender identity.

Peters uses social comedy to slowly reveal the complexity of being a trans woman in the US, distinct from the tidy media narrative where transitioning magically fixes everything. DB fully turns gender on its head and reveals the difficulties AND joys of being trans.

There is full acknowledgment that these are singular experiences of two white trans women.
Peters: “It's important to talk about the fact that what I know, and what I'm writing about, is largely white trans women, and a culture that's largely inhabited by white people. (...) That actually provides me, as an artist, with freedom, because I can say bitchy things. And I feel comfortable being bitchy about things that happened inside of my own culture. (...) I need to make those demarcations. Not just because it's, politically, the right thing to do, it's important for the quality of the art, to be specific and to be incisive as to what's happening.”
I feel hopeful that readers will leave this story knowing they also have to pick up books by trans WOC, trans SWs, etc. Let’s hope the Big Five catch up.

Highly recommend going down the rabbit hole of Peters’ interviews. Some gems: DB serving as a “test case” for her future; cis people engaging in “gender play;” how trans people, not TERFs, own the concept of detransitioning.

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