"The Story That Takes You Somewhere New": Form, Fiction, and Authority in Three English-Language Narratives of Gender Transition from 1928 to 2016
Ahern, Patrick, English - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Rody, Caroline, AS-English-Eng Lit Ops, University of Virginia
This paper examines the role of fictionality and literary form in three vibrantly distinct narratives of gender transition: John Radclyffe Hall’s 1928 novel The Well of Loneliness, Christine Jorgensen’s 1967 autobiography (titled Christine Jorgensen: A Personal Autobiography), and Kai Cheng Thom’s genre-defying 2016 book Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir. Each narrative engages with these elements in ways unique to their moments and to their authors’ visions as they navigate the complex realities of publishing trans stories in English across the past century.
MA (Master of Arts)
John Radclyffe Hall, Christine Jorgensen, Kai Cheng Thom, fictionality, voice, genre, trans, transgender, novel, autobiography, memoir