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Crossing: A Memoir

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Crossing: A Memoir Cover

ISBN13: 9780226556680
ISBN10: 0226556689
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

We have read the stories of those who have "crossed" lines of race and class and culture. But few have written of crossing--completely and entirely--the gender line. Crossing is the story of Deirdre McCloskey (formerly Donald), once a golden boy of conservative economics and a child of 1950s and 1960s privilege, and her dramatic and poignant journey to becoming a woman. McCloskey's account of her painstaking efforts to learn to "be a woman" unearth fundamental questions about gender and identity, and hatreds and anxieties, revealing surprising answers.

"[A] fascinating and poignant story. . . . [R]evealing, humorous, and provocative." --Library Journal

"When I received Crossing, I wondered why the editors had not designated it for review by someone gay, or someone involved in the transgendered community. Reading it, I realized that I-a lifelong heterosexual woman-need this book. All of us need to consider the way our culture shapes gender expectations and makes unspoken but profoundly rigid gender assignments based on physical appearance, apparel, gait, gestures, voice and so on. . . . This is a woman worth knowing. She has given us a highly readable, dramatic account of her crossing." --Maxine Kumin, The New York Times Book Review

"A testimony to her struggles and courage, Crossing invites the reader to enter Deirdre (formerly Donald) McCloskey's mind as she decides to become a woman after a lifetime as a man, husband, and father." --Kirkus Reviews

1999 New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year

Synopsis:

We have read the stories of those who have "crossed" lines of race and class and culture. But few have written of crossing—completely and entirely—the gender line. Crossing is the story of Deirdre McCloskey (formerly Donald), once a golden boy of conservative economics and a child of 1950s and 1960s privilege, and her dramatic and poignant journey to becoming a woman. McCloskey's account of her painstaking efforts to learn to "be a woman" unearth fundamental questions about gender and identity, and hatreds and anxieties, revealing surprising answers.

Synopsis:

The biography of a golden boy of conservative economics, a child of privilege--who became a woman--"Crossing" is the start of an engrossing, terrifying, and uplifting script as well as an amazing story, beautifully told. 10 halftones.

About the Author

Deirdre N. McCloskey is University Professor of the Human Sciences at the University of Illinois, Chicago. She is the author of nine books, including The Vices of Economists and If You're So Smart, the latter published by the University of Chicago Press.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Doubt

1. Boy to Man

2. Marriage

3. Internet, 1995

4. Professor Dressed

5. Clubs

6. In the Ladies' Room

7. Boldness

8. Epiphany

9. Losing Family

10. Academic Drag

11. A Day You Feel Pretty

12. Premarin

13. Sweet October

Part 2: Struggle

14. Outed

15. "Welcome"

16. The Cuckoo's Nest

17.Hearing?

18. Then Why Are You Doing This?

19. Chicago

20. Changing

21. Sister's Last

22. Professional Girl Economist

23. Farewell Speech

24. Dutch Welcome

25. The Worst Days in February

26. Passing

27. Yes, Ma'am

Part 3: Across

28. Vriendinnetjes

29. Women's World

30. To Make Up for God's Neglect

31. Merry May

32. Starting

33. Finishing

34. A Post-Menopausal Woman on Hormone Therapy

35. Facelift

36. This Is How We Live

37. Dutch Winter, 1996

38. Going Home

39. Costs

40. Iowa Drag

41. Professora Traveling

42. Second Voice

43. Makeup

44. Getting There

45. Differences

46. Christ's Mass 1997

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Sheila Deeth, March 4, 2014 (view all comments by Sheila Deeth)
“Being a woman is what you do... not what your wear. Caring, watching, noticing.” So says Deirdre N. McCloskey, quoting lessons learned when she was still Donald. He contrasts “the self-deprecating style women use when charming others of their tribe” with “the boasting of my tribe.” And he realizes, like a New Yorker whose heart is really in the South, that he wants to be someone else.

I was an adult when I became an American. My husband and I forced a whole new world and culture on our children. There were times we wondered if family and friends would forgive us. But for Deirdre, the change is even bigger, and forgiveness can be hard to find. Doctors might easily offer a nose-job to woman who wants to change her face, but when a man wants plastic surgery to seem more womanly, the psychiatrists have to be called, and sometimes even lawyers. After expensive legal procedures (oh yes, we had those to become American) and stays in mental wards (we had none of those, but we did have to be physically examined to prove we were healthy), Deirdre finally embarks on a long series of operations. Insurance won’t pay, claiming she’s either ill, but not treatable, or mad and shouldn’t be treated. Complaining that “gender crossing is not a psychosis, and there is no medical evidence that it is...” Deirdre finally concludes “Identity is both made and not made,” while making for herself a very human, very normal new identity.

As an economist, Deirdre is well-established, multiply published, very observant and very learned. One thing I particularly enjoyed about this book was her recognition of differences between male and female points of view of economics in relationships. “People have two ways, exchange and identity. Men can grasp only exchange,” she says, illustrating her point with a lovely scene where a wife recites who gave her each ornament in the collection around her house. To a man they’re just items of property; to a woman they stand in for the friends who gave them.

The biggest surprise for me in this book was the author’s faith. I wasn’t expecting to see a connection drawn between finding gender and finding religion, though “rebirth” certainly makes sense in both realms. Faith does too; when he couldn’t imagine continuing as he was, Donald had the faith (and the money) to embark on his journey to Deirdre. While some readers might find it hard to imagine why, and some people of faith might find it hard to accept, Deirdre’s advice to “try to think of Jesus as a God of love” is wisely given and well-taken.

A fascinating, absorbing memoir, Crossing invites us to examine who we are, and how much we care for our neighbor, in the light of someone who learned who s/he was not.

Disclosure: I was lucky enough to get a free ecopy of this book.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780226556680
Author:
McCloskey, Deirdre N.
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Author:
McCloskey, Deirdre N.
Location:
Chicago, Ill. :
Subject:
Biography
Subject:
Specific Groups
Subject:
Psychology
Subject:
Gender Studies
Subject:
Sex change
Subject:
Gender identity
Subject:
Economists
Subject:
Transsexuals
Subject:
Specific Groups - General
Subject:
McCloskey, Deirdre N
Subject:
Transsexuals -- United States -- Biography.
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
1
Publication Date:
19991131
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
32 halftones
Pages:
282
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Transgender

Crossing: A Memoir Used Hardcover
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Product details 282 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226556680 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
We have read the stories of those who have "crossed" lines of race and class and culture. But few have written of crossing—completely and entirely—the gender line. Crossing is the story of Deirdre McCloskey (formerly Donald), once a golden boy of conservative economics and a child of 1950s and 1960s privilege, and her dramatic and poignant journey to becoming a woman. McCloskey's account of her painstaking efforts to learn to "be a woman" unearth fundamental questions about gender and identity, and hatreds and anxieties, revealing surprising answers.
"Synopsis" by , The biography of a golden boy of conservative economics, a child of privilege--who became a woman--"Crossing" is the start of an engrossing, terrifying, and uplifting script as well as an amazing story, beautifully told. 10 halftones.
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