My Brother My Sister
Story of a Transformation
By Molly Haskell
(Viking, Hardcover, 9780670025527, 213pp.)
Publication Date: September 5, 2013
List Price: $26.95*
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On a visit to New York, the brother of well-known film critic Molly Haskell dropped a bombshell: Nearing age sixty, and married, he had decided to become a woman. In the vein of Jan Morris's classic "Conundrum "and "Jennifer Finney Boylan's She's Not There, "a transgender memoir, Haskell's "My Brother My Sister "gracefully explores a delicate subject, this time from the perspective of a family member.
Haskell chronicles her brother Chevey's transformation through a series of psychological evaluations, grueling surgeries, drug regimens, and comportment and fashion lessons as he becomes Ellen. Despite Haskell's liberal views on gender roles, she was dumbfounded by her brother's decision. With candor and compassion, she charts not only her brother's journey to becoming her sister, but also her own path from shock, confusion, embarrassment, and devastation to acceptance, empathy, and love.
Haskell widens the lens on her brother's story to include scientific and psychoanalytic views. In an honest, informed voice, she has revealed the controversial world of gender reassignment and transsexuals from both a personal and a social perspective in this frank and moving memoir.