Posted in Book review, Booker prize 2011, books, Uncategorized

Janet Mock Realising Realnes

 

redefining-realness-janet-mock-memoir-available-formats 

A young boy is born to a poor disjointed, displaced black American family. Charles/Janet was moved around, living with different family members at different times of their lives. Janet outlines; their childhood, the abuse that they suffered at the hands of a trusted adult, and the effects of feeling alienated from their own body; its bodily gender and the roles that society ascribes to that male body.  The book explores the effects of several interconnecting, socially defined, identities on a young body.  Mock explores the intersecting effects of; racism, poverty, family breakup/abuse, rigidly prescribed gender norms, and a disconnection between biological and actual gender identity on a person’s body and their understanding of that body. This book explores the life of a troubled child through the mature, experienced eyes of a woman, containing both; the pained innocence of childhood, and the critical understanding of an adult; with neither lens diluting the power of the other.  The childhood trauma/pain is tempered by an adult understanding; without ever being diminished by it.   Even in it’s painful moments, this book is infused with a sort of warmth.  Well worth a read.