Stuck in the Middle with You: A Memoir of Parenting in Three Genders (Paperback)
New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Finney Boylan returns with a remarkable memoir about gender and parenting that discusses how families are shaped and the difficulties and wonders of being human.
A father for six years, a mother for ten, and for a time in between, neither, or both, Jennifer Finney Boylan has seen parenthood from both sides of the gender divide. When her two children were young, Boylan came out as transgender, and as Jenny transitioned from a man to a woman and from a father to a mother, her family faced unique challenges and questions. In this thoughtful, tear-jerking, hilarious memoir, Jenny asks what it means to be a father, or a mother, and to what extent gender shades our experiences as parents. Through both her own story and incredibly insightful interviews with others, including Richard Russo, Edward Albee, Ann Beattie, Augusten Burroughs, Susan Minot, Trey Ellis, Timothy Kreider, and more, Jenny examines relationships between fathers, mothers, and children; people's memories of the children they were and the parents they became; and the many different ways a family can be. With an Afterword by Anna Quindlen, Stuck in the Middle with You is a brilliant meditation on raising--and on being--a child. Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader's guide and bonus content.
About the Author
JENNIFER FINNEY BOYLAN, author of fourteen books, is the inaugural Anna Quindlen Writer in Residence at Barnard College of Columbia University in the City of New York and is Special Advisor to the president of Colby College in Maine. She has been a contributor to the Op-Ed page of the New York Times since 2007; in 2013 she became Contributing Opinion Writer for the page. Jenny also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Kinsey Institute for Research on Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. She is the national co-chair of the Board of Directors of GLAAD, the media advocacy group for LGBT people worldwide, and serves as a consultant to several television series. A novelist, memoirist, and short-story writer, she is also a nationally known advocate for civil rights. Jenny has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show on four occasions; Live with Larry King twice; the Today show; the Barbara Walters Special; and NPR's Marketplace and Talk of the Nation. She has also been the subject of documentaries on CBS News' 48 Hours and The History Channel. She lives in New York City and in Belgrade Lakes, Maine, with her wife, Deedie, and her two sons, Zach and Sean.
“Stuck in the Middle also comes with vivid observations....Boylan remains a role model for her brisk prose and her high spirits as well as for her public advocacy and attention to her wife and their sons.” —Los Angeles Times
“Parents will recognize the basics here: The days go on forever; the years fly by; the heart is gripped by an aching, terrified love. The fact that Boylan changes her gender along the way—father of babies becomes mother of teenagers—does not make this memoir a cabinet of curiosities. It’s a family love story, bighearted and fearlessly funny. ‘To accept the wondrous scope of gender,’ Boylan writes, ‘is to affirm the vast potential of life, in all its messy, unfathomable beauty.’ And her story, interspersed with celebrity interviews on parenting, is messy and beautiful indeed. In the end...as Boylan’s mother puts it, ‘love will prevail.’” —More Magazine
“[A] warm, engaging memoir...This informal investigation and her touchingly funny and always candid story work together to reveal the book’s ultimate truth: that ‘to accept the wondrous scope of gender is to affirm the vast potential of life in all its messy, unfathomable beauty’...Genuinely insightful through and through.” —Kirkus
“Boylan illuminates diverse family relationships and the many ways families operate fluidly on a seemingly never-ending spectrum. This unique and giving book has tremendous resonance.” —Booklist
“Boylan enlists different perspectives by writers and others to explore in depth how parenting involves much more than birthing...Boylan records in engaging short narratives her complicated process of evolving as a parent, from being a father (“Jim”) for six years, a mother for 10, and throughout embracing a ‘flexible’ and ‘openhearted’ approach that has proven remarkably successful and long-lasting. Boylan writes honestly about the enormous toll her transitioning took on the family, the sense of ‘loss’ they all suffered when she became a woman in 2000, the anxieties she and Deedee felt over the children’s reaction to public censure, dread that the kids harbored their own dark secrets, and annoyance at other people’s inability to use the right pronoun.” —Publishers Weekly
“No other memoirist I’ve read so perfectly blends intimacy and witty remove, soul-searching and slapstick, joy and pain. As a child—or as a reader—one could not ask for a wiser, warmer, more engaging companion than Jennifer Finny Boylan.” —Mary Roach, author of Stiff and Packing for Mars