Peninsula of Lies (Paperback)
A True Story of Mysterious Birth and Taboo Love
Simon & Schuster, 9780743235617, 288pp.
Publication Date: March 7, 2005
Other Editions of This Title:
Born in England, Dawn began life as a boy named Gordon Langley Hall, the son of servants at Sissinghurst Castle, the estate of Vita Sackville-West. In his twenties he made his way to New York, where he wrote about and befriended great society ladies. A small fortune inherited from Isabel Whitney allowed him to buy and decorate a mansion in Charleston. But Gordon's world changed in 1968 when at The Johns Hopkins Hospital he underwent one of the first sexual reassignment surgeries, scandalizing the Southern community that had welcomed him. Months later Gordon shocked Charleston again. Gordon -- now Dawn -- married a young black mechanic, soon appeared to be pregnant, and shortly thereafter became the mother of a young girl.
National Book Award-winning author Edward Ball has written a detective story that unwraps Dawn's many mysteries. The result is an engrossing narrative of a person who tested every taboo, as well as the confidence of observers in their own eyes.
About the Author
Praise For Peninsula of Lies: A True Story of Mysterious Birth and Taboo Love…
-- John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
"Ball's genteel detective story...charts the course of an almost absurdly colorful life."
-- The New Yorker
"Edward Ball trolls the Peninsula of Lies in Charleston, South Carolina, for the taboo-breaking story of a mysterious sex-changed socialite."
-- Vanity Fair
"Excellent....Ball sympathetically but skeptically sifts the facts and rumors that survived Simmons at her death in 2000....Peeling back the layers, he discovers a fascinating enigma."