elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

2018-2019 Rainbow Awards: Best LGBTA Biography / Memoir

And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Ruth Simkin - Dear Sophie

Dear Sophie: Life Lessons in Feminism & Medicine

"Dear Sophie is a flawless memoir that is not only a story of Dr Ruth Simkin, but a story of feminism and women in Canada and the field of medicine, skillfully woven together with valuable life lessons. I feel grateful to Dr Simkin not only for her pioneering work that improved the quality of life for so many women, but for sharing her experiences. I found this memoir not only insightful and inspiring and a bit shocking, but at times funny. I learned more than I expected. Thank you!"

"Beautiful memoir of a fascinating life. Simkin's grand-niece Sophie is a very fortunate young woman. I wish I had such a handbook to life from my own grandmother – who had almost no formal education and was gone before I realized how many questions I should have asked."

Todd Allen Smith - Murder, Romance and Two Shootings

Murder, Romance, and Two Shootings

"This is based on real events and although a little humor is injected with the writer's attitude to being shot twice on two separate occasions, the harrowing aspect of the aftermath and recovery is very real and uncomfortable. Mixed in are the dramas of failed romances, lack of compassion and the shock of losing his job as a reporter after the second shooting. My only quibble is the writing style which could have used better editing, but the story is real and I was glad it worked out for the best in the end."

"I thought the 'plotting' seemed a little awkward… then realized it was non-fiction.  A painful but inspiring survivor's tale."

Judith Branzburg - The Liberation of Ivy Bottini

Liberation of Ivy Bottini: A Memoir of Love and Activism

"I love a good Bio/memoir. I love reading about people’s lives. Having all the pics scattered throughout the book, made it seem all that more real. Like I knew Ivy and the rest of the people."

"Branzburg definitely chose the right POV (in first person) for the telling of Ivy Bottini’s story because the narrative rings true and authentic with the inimitable Bottini “voice.” The story is a fascinating, laugh-out-loud, cry-real-tears-of empathy celebration of this infamous trailblazer’s remarkable story."

Carla Grant - Uncommon Girls

Uncommon Girls

"I give this memoir a score of 40. I hesitate to give a perfect score, but the book is captivating from page one and continues powerfully till the end. The basic story is a mother learning her son is trans and their journeys (they are separate ones in many regards) as he becomes she. I appreciated the POV of the mother, since so many accounts are through the eyes of the trans person. And I liked that the mother was a complex, intelligent, well-meaning, and terribly flawed individual. Grant tells the story not only of her trans daughter but also how that overwhelming aspect of her life still had to compete with plenty of other parts, her alcoholism, her remarriage, other children, rescue dogs, her daughter's self-harm, and multiple mental health issues. As if the story wasn't complex enough, we learn early on that the trans daughter is also on the autism spectrum, adding multiple additional stresses. It's all fascinating and at times even funny. Grant uses a variety of clever literary techniques to keep the reader interested. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It's excellent."

"Wow, this was not what I expected, and I almost gave up on it in the early going (what with the focus on mom's dating misadventures), but then it came to Eliot's written proposal to wear high heels to school . . . and suddenly I found myself loving this kid. On the surface, it really does seems like it is going to be too much - an autistic child who identifies as transgender, with a recovering alcoholic single parent telling their story - but it is actually beautiful and funny and heartwarming, even as they deal with the challenges of Canadian education and healthcare. Mom's whole "fluid concept of womanhood" is perfect, and Ella is . . . well, I am going to go all out and call her a hero. She is amazing."

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Tags: rainbow awards 2018-2019

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