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Crossing: A Memoir

Crossing: A Memoir
Author: Deirdre N. McCloskey
ISBN 13: 9780226556697
ISBN 10: 226556697
Edition: 1
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press
Publication Date: 2000-09-01
Format: Paperback
Pages: 282
List Price: $23.00

We have read the stories of those who have "crossed" race lines, class lines, and cultural lines. But few have written of crossing--completely and entirely--the gender line. Deirdre McCloskey, the former Donald, has, and she now tells the dramatic and poignant story of her travel in Crossing, her memoir.

A renowned economist and historian, a husband and father, Donald McCloskey had crossdressed for years without wanting more. But rather suddenly, at age 52, a sense that he was denying his real identity grew to the point where he knew he needed to become a woman. Crossing is the story of this realization and its consequences. McCloskey relates in detail the process of physically becoming a woman but also the emotional wake--personal and professional--left by her decision. Her mother accepts her; her children reject her. Some conservative economists prove to be gender libertarians, but some progressive feminists prove to be gender authoritarians. McCloskey's account of her crossing and her painstaking efforts to learn to "be a woman" enfold all the aspects of her journey into fundamental questions about gender and identity, hatreds and anxieties, that have surprising answers.

Crossing is the story of a golden boy of conservative economics, a child of 1950s and 1960s privilege, who became a woman. Of necessity she also became an artist performing, and then embodying, gender. She notes that the performance was enacted "often with no audience and seldom with a script." Crossing is the start of an engrossing, terrifying, and uplifting script. It is also an amazing story beautifully told.

New York Times Book Review - Maxine Kumin

A highly readable, dramatic account.