Review by Booklist Review
Taking a page from the popular series and celebrity memoirs like Neil Patrick Harris' Choose Your Own Autobiography (2014), sociologist Ryle has crafted a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure compendium of gender. The book covers a wide and up-to-date breadth of gender identities as well as the experiences that people with those identities encounter from birth to death. Readers follow simple turn-by-turn instructions to the next passage pertaining to their sense of self. For example, Ryle writes about the commonality of intersex conditions being hidden from patients from birth through puberty. Fast-forward, and she covers instances of athletes learning that they are intersex via mandatory chromosomal testing done before they're allowed to compete in the Olympics. Other paths through the book track feminine, masculine, queer, and transgender trajectories. Each path also addresses the intersectionality of that gender identity with race. Although the book can be read straight through, it feels more fluid to follow a particular path, and then chart another thereafter. Light and accessible, this is a smart and streamlined journey through the nuances of gender identity.--Courtney Eathorne Copyright 2019 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
In this unusual, useful resource, sociology professor Ryle (Questioning Gender: A Sociological Exploration) explores the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, culture, and history in the form of a choose-your-own-adventure book. Each chapter presents a different aspect of a gender-based experience; as readers make their way through, they might choose to see what happens when one is born intersex or discovers they are nonbinary or transgender. Ryle defines such terms as compulsory heterosexuality and gender socialization, explaining why some people might not be accepting of deviations from the gender binary: "For some people, gender matters a lot. It is a system that they're deeply invested in, and a set of rules they believe everyone should follow, including children like you." Ryle explores various cultures' genders, discussing the South Asian third gender label hijra, the "sworn virgins" of the Balkans, and masculine archetypes of 18th-century America. She argues that a rigid binary gender system hurts everyone. Though the chapters are short, often about a page, together they form an expansive account of gender that reflects exhaustive research. With its unique format and accessible language, the text is perfect for readers of any age who are questioning their genders, generally curious about gender, or interested in better understanding a loved one's identity. Agent: Brent Taylor, TriadaUS Literary Agency. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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