Thanks, everyone, who responded to my call for readers. I am so blessed and lucky to have so many awesome people willing to be a part of my dream! The book will be better for your generous efforts!
I have enough, though, so I am closing that down for now. If you see the post, don’t be offended if you ask and I say no. At some point, too much feedback will just overwhelm me.
Now, today, I thought I would share some of the lesser works that make up my writerly DNA. First up, Passion of a New Eve, by Angela Carter. A book I first stumbled upon in a university library 25 years ago, Passion of a New Eve tells the tale of a young man, Evelyn, who is captured by a feminist radical and given a sex-change.
It stands out for me and has always stood out for several reasons. First, the description of him when he first looks at himself in a mirror and examines his female shape and face, is exquisite. He finds he has been turned into a Playboy bunny, and it is shocking to him to see himself as the embodiment of male fantasy.
In addition, he is subjected to a great deal of brain washing intended to make him think and feel like a woman, to fill his brain with feminine and maternal impulses.
Now, that may all sound like a lot of books out there, but the mental conditioning stuff was rare back then, and especially interesting to me then and now because the author was a woman and a feminist. Her notion of how to brainwash a man and make him more her, therefore, is very different from the typical male description, when there even is one, and so I have always found it particularly interesting.
Further, once Eve goes out into the world, she experiences men in all their forms, and there is a lot of exploration of her life and how it has all changed. Now, I will say, this is one of those books where as you read on it seems more and more a book about a woman, and less a book about a man trapped as a woman, but that also makes sense in the context of the story.
Another work that informs my writing but which comes from the world of academic was a book called Sexchanges, the second volume from Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar. Academic scholars with an interest in gender and politics, the authors look at many works from the 20th Century that deal with gender and the way these works challenged or reacted to the events of the century. At the time I read it, right around the same time as I read Passion I had done very little thinking about the difference between biological sex and gender identity.
Both of these works opened up for me the understanding that identity and biological sex were not one and the same, and that what goes on in our heads and hearts isn’t always in line with what were told is supposed to go on in those places based on our birth sex.
Or, as the Kinks sang so many years ago: Boys will be girls and girls will be boys.
I can say with certainty that I woudn’t write what I write the way I write it if it weren’t for these two important works. Check them out!