Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Review: Trans-Sister Radio

I just finished reading Trans-Sister Radio by Chris Bohjalian. I have to say that this novel was at the same time both different and the same as what I expected. I've read a lot of LGBTQ literature over the last few months, because I took an LGBTQ YA lit course this summer as part of my MLIS program at UW-Milwaukee. I've also read Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. I have to say that Trans-Sister Radio reminds me more of Luna by Julie Anne Peters then it reminds me of Middlesex, even though those were my two "adult" novels of this nature.

The transgendered characters in Luna and Trans-Sister Radio struck me as very similar. Both were M2F (Male to Female) and both read as very "young" voices. This is fine with Liam/Luna in the novel Luna as she is a teenager. Dana in Radio, however is almost 40. She struck me as somewhat sheltered and adolescent.

With this, the author makes a comment on the "re-birth" Dana experiences when he transitions from male to female. There is even a comparison made of becoming an adolescent again.

I thought the format of the novel was superb, creating the radio show as segues between the character's separate voices.

The ending surely surprised me, but at the same time - I saw it coming. No spoilers!

This novel is definitely worth the read, as are many of Bohjalian's works. He is a great wordsmith, and one of my favorites.

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