LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2021
As heard on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row
‘A voraciously knowing, compulsively readable novel’ Chris Kraus
‘Tremendously funny and sexy as hell’ Juliet Jacques
‘I loved this very smart book from start to finish, with its beautifully drawn, complicated, and winning characters.’ Madeleine Miller
Reese nearly had it all: a loving relationship with Amy, an apartment in New York, a job she didn’t hate. She’d scraped together a life previous generations of trans women could only dream of; the only thing missing was a child. Then everything fell apart and three years on Reese is still in self-destruct mode, avoiding her loneliness by sleeping with married men.
When her ex calls to ask if she wants to be a mother, Reese finds herself intrigued. After being attacked in the street, Amy de-transitioned to become Ames, changed jobs and, thinking he was infertile, started an affair with his boss Katrina. Now Katrina’s pregnant. Could the three of them form an unconventional family – and raise the baby together?
So good I want to scream -- Carmen Maria Machado Irresistible ... Perhaps Detransition, Baby is the first great trans realist novel? Witty, elegant and rigorously plotted -- Grace Lavery * Guardian * The smartest novel I've read in ages ... it manages to be utterly savage & lacerating while also conveying endlessly expanding compassion. It's kind of a miracle. -- Garth Greenwell Detransition, Baby is emotionally generous, richly textured, and deeply intelligent - a vibrant and kaleidoscopic portrait of complicated women and their colliding lives. -- Claire Lombardo, New York Times-bestselling author of The Most Fun We Ever Had Detransition, Baby updates and transcends (trans-scends!) the Sex and the City model, while fully delivering its many satisfactions! ... A noteworthy advance in the history of the novel! -- Elif Batuman Riveting, insightful, and very funny ... an unforgettable portrait of three women, trans and cis, who wrestle with questions of motherhood and family-making. Destined to be a 21st century classic, Detransition, Baby will definitely keep you up late and might destroy your book club, but in a good way. -- Andrea Lawlor, author of Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl Torrey Peters just took everything that couldn't be done, and did it ... Plenty of books are good; this book is alive. -- Jordy Rosenberg, author of Confessions of the Fox Peters confronts the unruliness of our desires, and our vitality as we struggle within their limits ... a dishy, engrossing new novel * New Yorker * Writing with alarming insight, Torrey Peters captures the grandiose, heartfelt and sometimes mangled aspirations of queer and trans people facing an unprecedented array of personal choice. By showing how gender transition (like divorce, or any transformative life event) can be simultaneously destabilizing and liberating, Peters makes trans culture relatable to all. A voraciously knowing, compulsively readable novel. -- Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick I love Detransition, Baby for its wit, its irreverence. And I love it even more for its reverence-its reverence for the quest for womanhood, motherhood, selfhood. Torrey Peters evokes these characters with such fullness and compassion that they felt like dear friends to me. This is an important book, and I couldn't put it down. -- Helen Philips, author of The Need I loved [Detransition, Baby] so, so much - it's so smart, funny and sad about human nature and all our longings, hypocrisy, shame and sweetness. And it's fearlessly thought-provoking about gender. Such a literary feat and also such a great read. -- Curtis Sittenfeld Detransition, Baby is a landmark piece of trans literature - brutally honest and yet incredibly sensitive about trans living, tremendously funny and sexy as hell. -- Juliet Jacques, author of Trans: A Memoir A visceral, funny exploration of sex and gender through a triad of people - trans and cis -rocked by an unexpected pregnancy * Vanity Fair * Smart, funny, and bighearted. . . . A wonderfully original exploration of desire and the evolving shape of family [and] . . . a dishy contemporary drama. * Kirkus starred review * Possibly the most hotly anticipated work of transgender fiction ever * Pink News * Page-turning ... Through a careful narrative that laces humour into every paragraph, Peters paints a story of LGBT identity that will be engaging to any person who has struggled to define their place in the world * New Statesman * Fleishman is in Trouble meets Transparent in this eye-opening, gender-bending exploration of parenthood. * Oprah Magazine's Best Books of 2021 * Written with verve and humour, it's a must-read for 2021. * Stylist * The distinctive storyline in this page-turner navigates gender, sex, relationships (from romantic to familial), and the commonly unaccepted ideas surrounding them. * Cosmopolitan Best Books of 2021 * Detransition, Baby strikes to the heart of the moment. This conversation-shifting, taboo-busting novel is set to catapult its author, Torrey Peters - a Brooklyn-based trans writer whose two self-published novellas drew a cult following - into the mainstream ... Detransition, Baby should be on your reading list. It's an exuberant novel of ideas, desire and life's messy ironies - all filtered through Peters' astute, witty characters. * Evening Standard * Devastating, hilarious, touching, timely and studded with fun pop culture references and celebrity cameos, this is an acutely intelligent story about womanhood, parenthood and all the possibilities that lie within. * BookPage starred review * A landmark... Detransition, Baby is a comic and prodding take on transness and taboos. * i-D magazine * A riotously funny and fearless debut from Torrey Peters, who is clearly not afraid of polarising readers. * AnOther magazine * With heart and savvy, Detransition, Baby upends our traditional, gendered notions of what parenthood can look like. . . . Reese, Ames and Katrina feel to us more like friends than characters. * The New York Times Book Review * Ferociously smart and fearlessly queer ... this enthralling, extraordinary book is as queer as Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor, and as sharp as Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life. Superb. * Attitude * Detransition Baby is somehow both biting and deeply tender all at once... and feels up-to-the-second relevant. A lot of people recommended this book to me, and I will be recommending it to many, many others, queer, trans, straight, cis -- Amelia Abraham Sparklingly intelligent ... Detransition, Baby is for anyone who has ever reached a point of reassessment, transformation and risk -- Rosie Wilby * The F Word * Perhaps the first great novel about the realities of being trans, this witty, savage yet compassionate story is essential, exciting reading * Sunday Telegraph * The striking thing about Torrey Peters's first novel is not its vivid portrait of trans women's lives in Obama-era Brooklyn, nor its mordant wit, but the sheer accomplishment of its carpentry... a brave defence of what it means to be a woman - and a mother -- Roz Kaveney * TLS * Detransition, Baby blows preconceived notions of the nuclear family out of the water, by questioning what personal fulfilment can and should look like in a contemporary setting ... Tantalising * The Face * Devastating, hilarious, tender, ambitious, provocative - there simply aren't enough superlatives to heap upon this masterful work of fiction. * Independent Best LGBTQ+ Books * Peters' writing is sexy, urgent and thoughtful. She doesn't just hit the mark, but keeps going past it. -- Caroline O'Donoghue
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