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She's Not There

A Life in Two Genders
Narrated by: Jennifer Finney Boylan
Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

Non-member price: $46.14

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Publisher's Summary

The provocative best seller She's Not There is the winning, utterly surprising story of a person changing genders. By turns hilarious and deeply moving, Jennifer Finney Boylan explores the territory that lies between men and women, examines changing friendships, and rejoices in the redeeming power of family. Told in Boylan's fresh voice, She's Not There is about a person bearing and finally revealing a complex secret. Through her clear eyes, She's Not There provides a new window on the confounding process of accepting our true selves.

©2013 Jennifer Finney Boylan (P)2016 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

" She's Not There, the Running with Scissors of sex-change stories, brings irreverence and a merrily outrageous sense of humor to this potentially serious business." ( The New York Times)
"Probably no book I've read in recent years has made me so question my basic assumptions about both the centrality and the permeability of gender, and made me recognize myself in a situation I've never known and have never faced.... The universality of the astonishingly uncommon: that's the trick of She's Not There. And with laughs, too. What a good book." (Anna Quindlen, from the introduction to the Book-of-the-Month-Club edition)
"Beautifully crafted, fearless, painfully honest, inspiring, and extremely witty. Jennifer Finney Boylan is an exquisite writer with a fascinating story, and this combination has resulted in one of the most remarkable, moving, and unforgettable memoirs in recent history." (Augusten Burroughs, author of Running with Scissors and Dry)

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  • Jamie
  • 01-03-2018

Inspiring novel of MTF transition

I found the book very inspiring because I am transgender and can totally relate to the problems Jenni dealt with. Unfortunate not all transgender women have been as blessed as her with respect to friends and family support. So at times I found myself crying more over how I wished my life could be at least that easy. Still I loved the book, and believe it is a wonderful insight in the reality and pain transgender women must endure to be happy.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Cameron
  • 08-05-2017

Lost me

Although I enjoyed the overall story, there were too many little tangents and unnecessary details that got in the way of the story. I also didn't care for the narration, especially some of the character voices that seemed a little over the top.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Drew
  • 27-02-2018

Eek. Mildly annoying

I couldn’t handle more than 3 chapters in this book. Get the paperback if anything because the audible will make you cringe and want to tear your friggin cochlears out. The jokes are ‘trying’ to be funny but they’re not clever, just cheesy and elementary. Still haven’t found a full length book that educated people on trans with a good story behind it. I had no idea what was going on half the time in this try-too-hard-comedy

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Edward dotzel ll
  • 12-04-2018

She is not there... excellent

This book was very insightful. As a mother whose son was at first “only gay,” to now starting on the path to transition, it was helpful in understanding what he may be going through. I love and support my son with all my heart and wish only that he be happy and true to who he really is. Thank you for sharing your story.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Leah
  • 22-04-2016

Journey in poetry speak.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Probably not. There was so much 'poetic' sounding speaking that I couldn't hear what the point was. It wasn't until the later parts that the reading turned less cheesy and more...the way we speak when sharing our journeys.

Would you recommend She's Not There to your friends? Why or why not?

No. It went off subject too often with details of things that had nothing to do with the story. Very distracting.

Which character – as performed by Jennifer Finney Boylan – was your favorite?

Nora. Sweet Nora. And Grace. The conversation at the restaurant about tore my heart in two. It was so raw and so painful. Bless her heart.

Did She's Not There inspire you to do anything?

No.

Any additional comments?

I wanted to hear about actual experiences from start to finish on this journey so I could learn something. Everything from dancing on the opposite side, the medical, to what was eye-opening from being a man, to being reborn as a woman.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Shannon N.
  • 23-10-2019

Glad I Listened

Just a note: this is an audiobook of the 10th anniversary edition which contains additional material and afterwords from Jenny's wife, Grace, and best friend, Rick Russo, that also shed light on the effects of the original publication on all of their lives and, I feel, better helps the reader to understand each person's individual journey.
Although I had read reviews that described the narration as off-putting, I greatly enjoyed hearing from the author herself as certain scenes and phrases in her book benefitted from the emphases placed upon certain words. It was also nice that, in a memoir dealing with a person's gender identity and their transitioning into the social and physical modes that better match their inner reality, the person was able to let their own identity shine through. Additionally, getting to hear the afterwords from Grace and Rick in their own voices gave a better sense of their own transitioning - so to borrow the term - as they came to understand and accept Jenny and their own lives in the wake of her self-integration.

I feel like this work is worthy of a listen by anyone who has an opinion (of any sort) about persons who are transgender and those who love them as well as by anyone who is trying to make sense of the topic. I think it would be especially helpful to family, friends, and allies of anyone in the LGBTQIA+ community for understanding what their loved one and they themselves are experiencing as they navigate and adapt to their world in light of the self-revelations and changes that are taking place. Lessons and observations taken here can apply to anyone who is (or loves someone who is) coming out - be that about their gender identity or orientation. I think what this book does well is to present honest and empathetic reflections regarding Jenny's wife and best friend. The journey that they have to catch up with her on once she comes out and begins transitioning in earnest is difficult and sometimes painful for them and this requires Jenny to recognize and listen to her loved ones who aren't able to instantly switch over to what she already understands without some processing. This book is honest about the grief that comes when assumptions and expectations have to change. It is kind to those in the process and it helps those who are the focal point of that shift to remember to bring some grace and time for those loved ones as they sort through the good old treasures to bring along to the new house of their relationship with their friend, family, or lover.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Antonio Conner Sr
  • 23-10-2018

Gender bender

Book was great and real raw straight to the the truth in how transgender feel in this world.

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  • Abraham
  • 22-07-2018

Very Funny, entertaining, and interesting

This book was unexpectedly entertaining, considering the topic. Really enjoyed it, would definitely recommend giving it a read

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-05-2018

Essential

Thoughtful, sensitive, and humorous reading by Jenny Boylan. The afterward by Russo is just as thoughtful and helps deepen the meaning of Jenny's tale.
I'm just starting my third listening. It's that good.

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  • Kelly Houske
  • 16-07-2017

Amazing insights!

Jenny captured the essence of transition with the highs and lows and ultimately the peace that comes in the struggle.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful