It was Oscar Wilde who said, “Women always become like their mothers; that is their tragedy. Men never do; that’s theirs.”
I’m not so sure. I was a father for six years, a mother for ten, and for a while in between I was neither, or both– the parental equivalent of the schnoodle, or the cockapoo. You may have read my bestselling 2003 memoir, She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders, which told the story of what it’s like to be transgender, and examined the territory between the worlds of men and women. In my new book, Stuck in the Middle with You: Parenthood in Three Genders, I write about the differences between motherhood and fatherhood, and how gender affects the children we have been, and the parents we become.
It’s my hope that having a father who became a woman has helped make my sons, in turn, into better men.
Stuck in the Middle With You, however, isn’t a book that’s solely about my own experience with sex and parenthood. It also contains ten interviews with other fathers, mothers, and other “former children.” Many of them are well-known writers in their own right–Richard Russo, Edward Albee, Anne Beattie, Augusten Burroughs, and others as well. The book concludes with an interview with my wife and me, written and edited by Anna Quindlen.
It’s my hope that Stuck in the Middle With You can also open a door for readers, and enable them–with laughter, and with tears– to really consider what we mean when we talk about men and women, about fathers and mothers, about daughters and sons.
I’m grateful to all of the booksellers and the readers who have supported my books the last 10 years. The work we have done together really has changed lives. I thank you with all my heart.
I’ll be updating this page as we get closer to publication day. Random House has plans for sending me out on the road again, probably in spring or summer of 2013, and I’ll let you know via the appearances page of upcoming readings and the like.
In the meantime, here are a few early tidbits for you.
Here’s a short excerpt from the first chapter. Enjoy! I hope this encourage syou to pre-order the book at Amazon, or at another independent bookstore, such as Powell’s, or Eliot Bay, or the Tattered Cover– or whatever bookstore you most admire.
Also, here’s a short disclaimer for the book– really more of an explanation of how I work, and what readers should expect. It’s my belief that writers should level with their readers about their method, and I try to do that here. Stuck in the Middle is true, but it’s not a documentary; it’s not my desire to bamboozle anyone, and I hope that this caveat emptor makes it clear what the book is, and what it is not.
Finally, here’s the cover, front and back, for the Advance Readers Galley of the book– uncorrected proofs, so don’t start yelling at me. But it should give you some sense of what’s inside. You can double-click the ARC image to read the copy. Thanks everyone!