elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Best Transgender Novel: Becoming Agie by Grigory Ryzhakov

Becoming Agie is a bittersweet story, sad but with hope; it’s about finding yourself, finding also love in the meantime, and losing it; it’s about second chances, that arrive if you are courageous enough to open your heart.

This is a contemporary tale, and I’m using the word “tale” with a specific purpose: even if there are no fantastical element in the story, there is a feeling of surrealism that makes everything ethereal. The first feeling you have is that the writing is almost simple, like someone writing a diary with no target of telling a story; there are no flourishing details, not planned setting. But in the end it’s this simplicity that caught you.

Agie is a transgender male to female; one the story starts, she has just had her sex reassignment surgery, but for her own decision, she has not yet completed all the “changes” in her body, and so basically, she still appears like a slightly feminine man. Now please, I’m not an expert of transgender experiences, so if I’m saying something improper, it’s done without intention. Feel free to correct me. I had the feeling Agie didn’t want to complete her transition because she was still fearing of acceptance. And indeed Ben, a gay man (boy actually) falls in love with her believing she is a guy. But Agie is not someone who wants to live a lie, and she is always very direct in telling people she is transgender. And Ben, cute, sweet, young Ben, who fell in love for Agie, and not for the sex gender she is, opens his heart to that love.

I think these two novellas are very personal and tied to the author; there is a lot of Grigory Ryzhakov in Agie, both Russian, both scientists, both living in a Western town. I don’t know if Ryzhakov shares with Agie also something else, what I feel is that Ben, and then Jake, felt like real to me, like they are from Ryzhakov’s real life, and that the needs to write the novellas was a mean to exorcize a deep pain but also to affirm the concept that happiness is still possible.

Amazon: Becoming Agie: The Adventure of a Russian transgender scientist entangled in fiction, romance and mystery
Amazon Kindle: Becoming Agie: The Adventure of a Russian transgender scientist entangled in fiction, romance and mystery
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (December 28, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 148029893X
ISBN-13: 978-1480298934

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle

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Tags: genre: contemporary, length: novel, rainbow awards 2013, review

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