Synopses & Reviews
PRAISE FOR TRANSPARENT
"Transparent is a remarkable book - captivating, powerful, funny, and wise. Without ever upstaging her subjects, Beam explains how she fell in love with them, and so allows us to do the same. This is literature of the first order."
- Andrew Solomon, author of THE NOONDAY DEMON
"Putting aside the gob-smacking strength, humanity, and hard-won wisdom in both the writer and her subjects, TRANSPARENT is just an astonishing book and Cris Beam, an extraordinary talent. This is everything that writing should be: gripping, desperate, heart-breaking and joyous." --David Rakoff, author of DON'T GET TOO COMFORTABLE
"An unprecedented window into the lives of transgender teens, Transparent is a testament to the resilience of young adults trying to find themselves in a world that would prefer them lost. I couldn’t put it down." --Rachel Simmons, author of Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls
"These kids are most usually known about rather than known. But Cris Beam knows them. Bless her for so eloquently and respectfully sharing their stories with the rest of us." --Kate Bornstein, author of HELLO, CRUEL WORLD: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws
"Cris Beam has written a terrific book, both tender and tough, about brave sexual travelers who violate borders in search of new worlds." -- Richard Rodriguez, author of BROWN
"Keenly observed and deeply felt, TRANSPARENT is essential reading -- as illuminating as RANDOM FAMILY, with hard-won personal insight. We need more books like this, and more writers like Cris Beam." --Janice Earlbaum, author of GIRLBOMB: A HALFWAY HOMELESS MEMOIR
When Cris Beam moved to Los Angeles, she thought she might volunteer just a few hours at a school for gay and transgender kids. Instead, she found herself drawn deeply into the pained and powerful group of transgirls she discovered. Transparent introduces four: Christina, Dominique, Foxxjazell, and Ariel. As they accept Cris into their world, she shows it to usa dizzying mix of familiar teenage cliques and crushes and far less familiar challenges, such as how to morph your body on a few dollars a day. Funny, heartbreaking, defiant, and sometimes defeated, the girls form a singular community. But they struggle valiantly to resolve the gap between the way they feel inside and the way the world sees themand who among us cant identify with that? Beams astute reporting, sensitive writing, and passionate engagement with her characters place this book in the ranks of the very best narrative nonfiction.
"Beam does an admirable job grappling with the complexities of gender, race, and class that shape the lives of transgender teens... Beam also manages to draw out warmth, love, and good humor in her empathetic narrative."--Out
Christina, Dominique, Foxxjazell, and Ariels world is a dizzying mix of teenage cliques, , crushes, and far less familiar challenges-- like how to morph your body on a few dollars a day. These transgender girls bravely struggle to reconcile the way they feel inside with the way the world sees them. Funny, defiant, and sometimes heartbreaking, Cris Beams exceptional story of how these girls surviveand maybe even thrivedespite a world that wants to ignore them, is a wonder of storytelling and passionate engagement.
"This is a serious piece of investigative reporting... [and] will prove indispensable to the small but growing literature on transgender teens."--Curve
"Beam built a deep understanding of the psyche of disadvantaged transgendered youth, and her richly detailed, sympathetic book attempts to paint a picture of their complex lives."--Bitch
CRIS BEAM, a journalist who has written for several national magazines as well as for the public radio program "This American Life," has an MFA in nonfiction from Columbia University and teaches creative writing at Columbia and the New School. She lives in New York.
About the Author
CRIS BEAM is a journalist who has written for several national magazines as well as for public radio. She has an MFA in nonfiction from Columbia University and teaches creative writing at Columbia and the New School. She lives in New York.
Table of Contents
Eduardo/ Geri/ Christina