The Coming of Age of Transgender Literature

Peter Haldeman in the New York Times:

The Pioneer Valley in western Massachusetts is a cradle of social progress — a place where L.G.B.T.Q. is often followed by I.A. (for intersex and asexual), there’s a Stonewall Center (now 33 years old), and gender-nonconforming parents have a nickname of choice (it’s “Baba”).

On a Maple-lined street here in Northampton, in a white gablefront house, lives one such Baba, a.k.a. Andrea Lawlor, a gender queer novelist and visiting lecturer at Mt. Holyoke College; Lawlor, who uses the pronoun they, shares the first floor rooms with their girlfriend, their 5-year-old child, and their child’s sprawling Lego constructions. The second floor is occupied by Lawlor’s best friend of 25 years, Jordy Rosenberg, a transgender novelist who teaches 18th century literature, gender and sexuality studies, and critical theory at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Sometimes they call their home a “queer commune.”

Lawlor’s debut novel, “Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl,” set in the 1990s and featuring a shape-shifting (and sex-obsessed) protagonist, was published last year by Rescue Press — and received enough attention that Vintage/Anchor and Picador will reissue the book next spring.

More here.