Wednesday, 7 January 2009

A Change for Good - John Thorp

I am inhaling books this week. *contented sigh*

I have just finished reading A Change for Good (2006) by John Thorp. With the byline "when she became he", it is the story of man who began his life with the outer appearance of a woman. I have read a couple of transgender and transsexual biographies; this one caught my attention because it was more uncommon than the 'usual' stories of men becoming women.

John Thorp began his life as Josephine Thorp. He entered the path of academia as a female, graduating with a MSc and PhD in chemistry. After a series of painful operations (the details which, of course, I had to skip), he underwent the long journey which led him to be living legally as a man. However, society in the 1950s/60s wasn't kind and he and his wife, Joan, lived through many years of prejudice and misunderstanding, from people they knew (family and 'friends', as well as colleagues), the media, and complete strangers. I wonder if the reaction he received would actually be any different today?

A quick, easy read, and one that gives a tiny glimpse into a life lived in constant fear of prejudice.

5 comments:

Kelly said...

I love having a good book binge!

This sounds like a really interesting read too - I will def add it to my wish list!

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Angela!

Aren't books wonderful? You would be breathing 'fresh-air' this week that's for sure.

I have an old collection of books from various places - some bought, some gifted, some inherited. They are so special. I recall as a child I used to sniff books! My youngest daughter Catriona had the same fettish :-)

When she was very small, I'd catch her with one of my little books; there was one in particular she liked. She'd have it poised, upside down, no pictures that you'd think would attract a child of her tender years, carefully turning the pages and sniffing.

When she was older, she would read a book in days - Harry Potter didn't have a chance, neither did "Lorrrerarings" would you believe - and I would spy her reading, after lights out, under the blankets with a torch. I usually left her to it. Frankly, I think that approach paid off. She's none-the-worst for it. But she is a fabulous fast reader - who loves books.

So, yes, I can understand your breathing habits. Take a deep breath. Sniff a book :-)

Catchya later
from Middle-earth

Katie_S said...

Hi Cafe Chick!
I linked over from Kelly's blog and just wanted to say hi! I love your 101 in 1001 list - so inspiring!
Cheers, Katie

transplantedmagnolia said...

I love when you can just sit down and read for periods of time like that! The book sounds interesting.

Café Chick said...

There is something about inhaling books, either metaphorically (by indulging in holiday reading binges) or literally that can never be matched elsewhere.

I love the feel and scent of a pristine new book. Growing up as a 'library kid', I didn't often get to experience this, and don't much today either as I still tend to borrow books, but walking into a bookstore ... *inhale*