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Publisher's Summary

Four people in a small Vermont village are about to have their lives inexorably intertwined by the uncertainties of love...and the apparent absolutes of gender.

Allison Banks, the long-divorced mother of a teenager on the cusp of college, has at last fallen in love. The object of her desire? Dana Stevens, a professor at the nearby university and her instructor for a summer film and literature course. Her daughter watches with pleasure her mother's newfound happiness, but Allison's ex-husband, Will, the president of Vermont Public Radio, is jealous. Still secretly in love with his ex-wife, he finds himself unsettled by the prospect of Allison's attachment to another man.

Yet Dana is unlike anyone Allison has ever been with: attentive, gentle, kind - and an exceptionally ardent lover. Moreover, it's clear that Dana cares just as deeply for Allison. The only stumbling block? Dana has known always that in actuality he is woman and he will soon be having a sex change operation.

At first Allison runs, but overwhelmed by the depth of her passions, she returns. Can the pair's love transcend both the biologic imperatives that are their bodies, as well as their ingrained notions of sexual preference? Moreover, can their love survive the outrage of the small community in which they live?

©2000 Chris Bohjalian (P)2000 Random House, Inc. Random House AudioBooks, A Division of Random House, Inc.

What listeners say about Trans-Sister Radio

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

finely textured, gracefully written

I'm a longtime fan of Chris Bohjalian, and have relished all of his fiction. It's no surprise to me that this book received a quiet reception, since one of its central characters is trans-sexual -- a complicated and mis-understood phenomenon. Bohjalian doesn't shy away from exploring the full range of conflicts and questions that arise when Dana, a male professor, falls in love with Allison in the tiny town of Bartlett, VT -- and then announces that he's in the process of gender reassignment. The complexity of this relationship includes its effects on Allison, a school teacher, and the town's residents.

Allison's ex-husband, Will, and their daughter, Carly, are the other 2 characters that Bohjalian lends equal voice to as the novel shifts perspective over and over.

Judith Ivey has done a phenomenal reading: she uses slight "accents" to distiguish between the multiple characters' perspectives. She also has a knack for bringing Bohjalian's thoughtful prose to life.

Overall, this is one of the most compelling, intriguing books I've iPodded off of Audible. The timing of the story is just right, and the details and texture of its unfolding are satisfying. I didn't want it to end!

The one caution I would grant to possible listeners is that some people are sure to have trouble listening to a novel that so prominently features trans-sexuality. Personally, I enjoyed it because I have several trans-sexual friends and this book is a marvelous portrayal of the breadth of a TS character; it is never sensationalistic. You WILL learn a great deal through Bohjalian's characters, and so I encourage you to take the risk.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book

This is an excellent book, well read too. The story is intriguing with a man undergoing a sex change operation. But it is not clincal. There are numerous relationships with his girlfriend prior to the surgery and afterwards. One learns to view these people as people and the feelings that they have. The inclusion of fake NPR segments give the book added punch. It is a hard book to put down and I highly recommend it.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very Good Gender Bending Story

This one kept me interested from beginning to end. I would have listened to the whole book in one sitting if I could. As a straight man, it always intrigues me that some guys undergo sexual reassignment surgery, the steps they take and why they do it. I respect anybody who isn't afraid to be who they are despite all the shallow minded people in society.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Couldn't turn it off.

This story is beautifully written about a subject in which I have no firsthand knowledge. I definitely develop some compassion. I Love the way the author use the NPR format and I very much enjoyed the narrator. My only peeve is that Dana is from Miami and has a heavy southern accent. Truth is Dana should either have a New York accent or a South American. Why the mother has no accent at all is also odd. Nonetheless, quite enjoyable.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The narrator's voice...

Get accent is atrocious!! It's about Vermont people. But her nyc/jersey accent takes away from the story because it's so off!!!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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TransGreat!

Wow great story so realistic couldn't believe it was fiction I wish everybody would read this book tender stand what transgendered people have to go through. happy ending is nice

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful story telling

Bohjalian gives an unusual story great depth as it is told from four perspectives. At the onset, I was rooting for true love for one couple but ended up understanding the real true love needed to find its way to somewhere else. Excellent dialogue - head space as well as verbal - is what Bohjalian does best.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Held my interest, but no wow factor.

I am the partner of a trans-woman, and some of the old terminology used in this book grated on me. I think it was a bit far fetched and yet predictable at the same time. Certain aspects of Dana's story was well presented though. I thought the narrator had a tough time. Her portrayal of Will's raspy voice was difficult to listen to.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Thought-provoking

I was disappointed with some of the descriptions involving the relationships between Dana and others. I would not say this is the author's best book.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Mediocre

The book is good, besides some of the outdated language they use. However, I was trying to listen to the audio while following along in the paper book and the recording skips A LOT. It even skipped a whole chapter. The accent for Will is hard to listen to and Dana who is from Florida for some reason has a southern accent