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Winner of the Nebraska Center for the Book's Nebraska Book Award for poetry (2002)
This elegant and moving collection grew out of Hilda Raz's experience with her son's journey to a transgender identity. Born Sarah, now Aaron, Raz's child has had a profound impact on her understanding of what it means to be a family, to be whole, and to know oneself. The collection moves between past and present, allowing Raz to reflect on her own childhood, and on her experience with breast cancer to find ways to connect with Aaron. The journey takes us from intimacy to strangeness and back again, from denial to humor to grief and rage, but always laced with love and acceptance.
"Trans" means across, through, over, to or on the other side, and beyond. The book documents some major transformations of body, self, society and spirit that art requires and life allows. The poems themselves are accessible and finely wrought. They are equally testaments to Raz's insistence on making an order out of chaos, of finding ways to create and understand and eventually accept new definitions of self and family. The physical and sensuous language of Raz's poems, and their humanity, keep them intimately bound to the world and to the senses.