Friday, January 11, 2013

A Queer and Pleasant Danger

A Queer and Pleasant Danger: A Memoir  by Kate Bornstein
Weight: 1.5 lbs
Method of Disposal: Leaving at Joe's in EAV

My dear friend, Harriet, bought me this book for my birthday before she flew back home to the U.K.
It was on my wish list--yeah yeah, I know I should not even have a wish list since I am trying to get rid of all my books.  It is hard though.  I do not want to only ready books from the 80's and 90's.  I need to have access to current information and literature.

I was excited to read it because I read some of Bornstein's other work in college and really enjoyed it and learned from it.  Gender Outlaw was my first and then I had to get The Gender Workbook, neither of which I am prepared to get rid of yet.

This memoir is, amongst other things, a letter to the author's daughter who she has not spoken to in 16 years.  Bornstein's need to communicate with her daughter and the obstacles that prevent it broke my heart from page one.  She tears into her life and exposes herself in every chapter.  We hear about her childhood, her father, and the experiences she had while realizing her transgender identity.  Then we are sucked into the strict, abusive world of Scientology, something I never knew about Bornstein before I read this book.  It exposes things I never knew, and I found it to be so interesting and, again, heartbreaking that it is the largest obstacle between Kate and her daughter.  She writes about BDSM, her eating disorder, her relationships, her sex life, the loss of her mother, the loss of her brother, loneliness, closeness.  It can get raw and some people may even think gritty, but it was so honest and so interesting.  I left with a new level of respect for Bornstein, whom I already respected.  If you are looking for an interesting memoir by someone who has probably led a more exciting life than you then this is the one.

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