Tuesday, September 07, 2004

She's Right Here

I finished Jenny Boylan's book, "She's Not There" over the weekend. While I'm not as enthusiastic about it as I was when I started, it's still an interesting read, and recommended.

Rather than the postscript Boylan's buddy, Richard Russo (yep, the RR) closes the book with, I would have preferred something from his (her? ah, the semantics of transgender) long-suffering wife, "Grace", whose story Boylan -- perhaps from necessity -- short changes and whose feelings are reduced to a series of venting monologues by book's end. Boylan hints, in a section written after he's had the ah, "surgery", that he suspects he'll eventually explore sex with a man, which must give Grace some pause. In fact, I suspected that Boylan was going to end up in bed with Russo (or conversely, midway through Russo's postscript, that he was going to end up in bed with Grace), but reality is seldom as tidy as fiction, and, if either has happened, the parties remain mute, at least in this book.

Thinking of the collateral damage that Grace suffered from Boylan's decision, I was reminded of my Globe article on my seven months of unemployment, which left Peg's misery in the background. As I suspect Boylan did, I made that decision deliberately. It was my story, to put it bluntly, not Peg's, although her story deserved to be told, too. But that's what happens when you're married to someone who writes, and you don't. It's easy to be in the spotlight... when you own it.

Boylan's Web page, if you're interested, is here.

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