Stone butch blues : a novel

by Feinberg, Leslie, 1949-2014.

Format: Print Book 2003.
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Northern Tier Regional Library Fiction CHECKED OUT
Location  Northern Tier Regional Library
Collection  Fiction

Published in 1993, this brave, original novel is considered to be the finest account ever written of the complexities of a transgendered existence.

Woman or man? That's the question that rages like a storm around Jess Goldberg, clouding her life and her identity. Growing up differently gendered in a blue--collar town in the 1950's, coming out as a butch in the bars and factories of the prefeminist '60s, deciding to pass as a man in order to survive when she is left without work or a community in the early '70s. This powerful, provocative and deeply moving novel sees Jess coming full circle, she learns to accept the complexities of being a transgendered person in a world demanding simple explanations: a he-she emerging whole, weathering the turbulence.

Leslie Feinberg is also the author of Trans Liberation , Trans Gender Warriors and Transgender Liberation , and is a noted activist and speaker on transgender issues.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "The floodgates on lesbian and gay fiction have been open several years, but this is the first sustained work of fiction to deal with a transvestite woman passing as a man. Jess is no weekend butch. She's a blue-collar worker who's put in factory stints in upstate New York, survived on day labor as a homeless person in the Big Apple, and tried to acquire a trade, meanwhile helping unionize others of her class but always living in fear that her passing will be found out and she'll lose her job--or more. Clinging to a life-style they feel they cannot alter, Jess, her stone-butch friends, and the women who love them endure police harassment, rape, and beatings. The constant pressures to conform lead some to self-mutilation, insanity, and suicide. After taking male hormones and submitting to an underground surgeon, Jess finds herself cut off from even the scanty support network she had. Her journey to find herself and a community challenges all standard assumptions about sex and gender. This book may be of no greater literary value than the pioneering lesbian novel The Well of Loneliness, but it could make a comparable impact. (Reviewed Apr. 1, 1993)1563410303Marie Kuda"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "This compelling but uneven first novel follows the sexual travails of lesbian Jess Goldberg. At its start she is a girl who feels confused by strict ideas about gender and who wonders if she might be a ``he-she'' since people often ask whether she is a boy or a girl. Constantly searching, she quickly moves from trying on her father's suits to visiting bars and transforming herself into a full-blown ``butch,'' complete with her own dildo. As police crackdowns on gay bars result in more than one night in jail, Goldberg decides to begin taking male hormones and have a breast reduction in order to pass as a man. Although she delights in visiting the barber and being able to use the men's room--and even manages to make love to a woman without being discovered--the emotional complications of changing her sex (and hence her identity) build up until she ceases to take her hormone shots. Certain transmutations, like her lowered voice, cannot be reversed, however, so she is now even less defined as a member of a specific gender. Goldberg and her like-minded friends who have embraced the butch/femme dichotomy find they have no place in either the nascent women's or gay pride movements. Feinberg attempts to present Goldberg's life as the personal side of political history, but the narrative seems unattached to time despite the insertion of landmark events like the Stonewall riot and the mention of Reagan and the Moral Majority. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Coming out (Sexual orientation) -- Fiction.
Transsexuals -- Fiction.
Lesbians -- Fiction.
Publisher Los Angeles :Alyson Books,2003.
Edition 1st Alyson Books ed.
Language English
Description 301 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 1555838537
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