The Gender Novels

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Gender transition seems to fascinate just about everyone who hasn’t gone through it, so it makes sense that we get a lot of literary fiction on the subject . . . All these books were penned by cisgender—that is, non-transgender—authors. In that, they join a very twenty-first-century sub-genre: sympathetic novels about transition by people who haven’t transitioned. Call them the Gender Novels—books about Gender with a capital G.

For The Walrus, Casey Plett tackles the problems with cis people writing the trans experience.


Claire Burgess’s short fiction has appeared in Third Coast, Hunger Mountain, and PANK online, among others. Her stories have received special mentions in the Pushcart Prize and Best American anthologies, but haven’t actually made it into one yet. She’s a graduate of the Vanderbilt University MFA program, where she co-founded Nashville Review. She lives in Pittsburgh by way of the deep South and says things on Twitter @Clairabou_. More from this author →