"Trans-Sister Radio" by Chris Bohjalian

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Posted

A couple of months ago I went to Berkeley to drop in on Cody's Bookstore, a landmark on Telegraph Avenue. Unfortunately they evidently closed some time ago and the building is now housing a used bookstore. I took a look around and came across this novel "Trans-Sister Radio" by Chris Bohjalian, which I just finished reading yesterday.

​Here's Amazon's blurb on it:

"When Allison Banks develops a crush on Dana Stevens, she knows that he will give her what she needs most: attention, gentleness, kindness, passion. Her daughter, Carly, enthusiastically witnesses the change in her mother. But then a few months into their relationship, Dana tells Allison his secret: he has always been certain that he is a woman born into the wrong skin, and soon he will have a sex-change operation. Allison, overwhelmed by the depth of her passion, finds herself unable to leave Dana. By deciding to stay, she finds she must confront questions most people never even consider. Not only will her own life and Carly’s be irrevocably changed, she will have to contend with the outrage of a small Vermont community and come to terms with her lover’s new body – hoping against hope that her love will transcend the physical."

I found it to be a remarkably insightful and sensitive story which includes several different perspectives. Probably a good book for anyone who is TG or knows someone who is. It was fun to read for me for sure.

Emma

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Posted

I read this book over a year ago. I enjoyed it very much.

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Brilliant title. It's on my list now. Ah telegraph avenue, the used book stores, the eccentric characters, street theatre intended or not, always the 60s, hippies, radicals, and seekers to me no matter how much it's changed.

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I think you'll enjoy the book.

I love it that you know Telegraph. Berkeley, yeah! People's Park, Free Speech Movement, Kip's, Sather Gate, Patty Hearst, the SLA's logo spray painted on various walls around campus. I was on the air every Thursday evening at KALX "the mighty ninety point seven FM in Berkeley" in the late 70s, graduated from Cal in 1980 but had moved to the Oakland hills about a year earlier to a house with friends we called Radio House as we all worked at the station. My hair reached halfway down my back in a ponytail. 

Telegraph really has cleaned up a lot. It's a lot more preppy but as you say it still has its character and characters. I miss Sandwiches-A-GoGo that had a delicious avocado and bacon on whole wheat that was to die for, although these days I would probably die for eating it. :-) The good news is that Top Dog remains on both south side and north side. I dropped by and had a kielbasa "gimme a kiel" after buying that book.

Now I'm looking into establishing a permanent residence in Seattle. It's like it has some of the best parts of San Francisco and Berkeley, and also such a nice assortment of people who're amazingly pleasant, friendly, and LGBT welcoming (not just 'tolerant')- which is so refreshing for me compared with most of California.

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