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TRANNY

CONFESSIONS OF PUNK ROCK'S MOST INFAMOUS ANARCHIST SELLOUT

A fascinating, gripping, moving memoir perfect for anyone interested in learning more about gender identity or about the...

A visceral memoir that deftly explores Grace’s experience fronting seminal punk band Against Me! as well as the years she spent grappling with gender dysphoria.

From the time she was 5 watching Madonna perform “Material Girl,” Grace, who was born in 1980 as Thomas James Gabel, knew that she wanted to be a woman. Her father was an Army officer, and Grace’s family moved frequently. In 1991, Grace’s parents divorced, and she moved to Naples, Florida, with her mother. Frequently bullied by her peers, she turned to music as an escape. After playing in local bands and getting into the punk scene, Grace decided to create her own solo music project, Against Me!, which eventually grew into a successful and highly influential punk band. The author traces her band’s slow but significant rise to fame, discussing the many issues she faced as they rose—most significantly, the constant worry that the originally anarchist group was “selling out” as well as the debilitating substance abuse that went hand in hand with a touring lifestyle. Grace also explores her constant feelings of gender dysphoria, her attempts to suppress them, and, eventually, her realization that they were not going to go away, which ultimately led to acceptance. Throughout, the author’s voice is candid and raw, and she delivers a touching, occasionally heartbreaking firsthand narrative of what it feels like to be born in the wrong body. “By coming out,” she writes, “I indirectly triggered changes around me….People I’d known for years and saw every day cycled out of my world. It wasn’t that they were transphobic or unsupportive, it was just that things were different.” The book is also a revealing look behind the scenes at the music industry and what it takes, and means, for a band to “make it.”

A fascinating, gripping, moving memoir perfect for anyone interested in learning more about gender identity or about the complicated inner workings of the music business.

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-316-38795-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Hachette

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2016

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BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME

NOTES ON THE FIRST 150 YEARS IN AMERICA

This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

Awards & Accolades

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  • Readers Vote
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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2015


  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    winner


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Winner


  • Pulitzer Prize Finalist

The powerful story of a father’s past and a son’s future.

Atlantic senior writer Coates (The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood, 2008) offers this eloquent memoir as a letter to his teenage son, bearing witness to his own experiences and conveying passionate hopes for his son’s life. “I am wounded,” he writes. “I am marked by old codes, which shielded me in one world and then chained me in the next.” Coates grew up in the tough neighborhood of West Baltimore, beaten into obedience by his father. “I was a capable boy, intelligent and well-liked,” he remembers, “but powerfully afraid.” His life changed dramatically at Howard University, where his father taught and from which several siblings graduated. Howard, he writes, “had always been one of the most critical gathering posts for black people.” He calls it The Mecca, and its faculty and his fellow students expanded his horizons, helping him to understand “that the black world was its own thing, more than a photo-negative of the people who believe they are white.” Coates refers repeatedly to whites’ insistence on their exclusive racial identity; he realizes now “that nothing so essentialist as race” divides people, but rather “the actual injury done by people intent on naming us, intent on believing that what they have named matters more than anything we could ever actually do.” After he married, the author’s world widened again in New York, and later in Paris, where he finally felt extricated from white America’s exploitative, consumerist dreams. He came to understand that “race” does not fully explain “the breach between the world and me,” yet race exerts a crucial force, and young blacks like his son are vulnerable and endangered by “majoritarian bandits.” Coates desperately wants his son to be able to live “apart from fear—even apart from me.”

This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

Pub Date: July 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8129-9354-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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