Book Review

REVIEW: Nonbinary: Memoirs of Gender and Identity

April 7, 2019

What happens when your gender doesn’t fit neatly into the categories of male or female? Even mundane interactions like filling out a form or using a public bathroom can be a struggle when these designations prove inadequate. In this groundbreaking book, thirty authors highlight how our experiences are shaped by a deeply entrenched gender binary.

The powerful first-person narratives of this collection show us a world where gender exists along a spectrum, a web, a multidimensional space. Nuanced storytellers break away from mainstream portrayals of gender diversity, cutting across lines of age, race, ethnicity, ability, class, religion, family, and relationships. From Suzi, who wonders whether she’ll ever “feel” like a woman after living fifty years as a man, to Aubri, who grew up in a cash-strapped fundamentalist household, to Sand, who must reconcile the dual roles of trans advocate and therapist, the writers’ conceptions of gender are inextricably intertwined with broader systemic issues. Labeled gender outlaws, gender rebels, genderqueer, or simply human, the voices in Nonbinary illustrate what life could be if we allowed the rigid categories of “man” and “woman” to loosen and bend. They speak to everyone who has questioned gender or has paused to wonder, What does it mean to be a man or a woman—and why do we care so much?

Nonbinary: Memoirs of Gender and Identity front cover

My Thoughts:

I find reviewing Non-Fiction Anthologies so difficult, because how do you judge someone’s truth? Are all the stories in here fascinating and must-reads? Honestly no, and some of them need a bit more editing, but overall I found the collection satisfying.

As a Transwoman who has always felt comfortable within the Binary, I did learn a lot from this and I do really respect those who are brave enough to live their truth. There are some really excellent stories in this, and every one of them is informative, unique and interesting.

I think anyone looking to feel solidarity with those who Identify as Nonbinary, or are Nonbinary this is a highly recommended read. Some of the author featured are practically experts and excellent writers, overall a very successful anthology. It made me think a lot about how and why I am so comfortable within the gender binary, and at times made me ponder my own identity. All of which I really appreciated.

I’m unlikely myself to ever identify as Nonbinary, but I have a better understanding on why those who do, have determined this is the right identity for them. I have the deepest of respect for each of them.

In reality, I give this book a 4.5 stars rating but due to the importance of it, I’m going to round up to 5 stars.

Nonbinary: Memoirs of Gender and Identity edited by Micah Rajunov and A. Scott Duane is out April 9th 2019 and can be purchased at Amazon, Book Depository, or wherever you buy books.

Follow Micah Rajunov:

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A Review Copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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