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The First Man-Made Man: The Story of Two Sex Changes, One Love Affair, and a Twentieth-Century Medical Revolution
 
 
Author
Pagan Kennedy.
Publisher Bloomsbury  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.06 inches
ISBN 9781596910164
Pages/Publication Date 224/2008
Daedalus Item Code 31894
List Price: $14.95
Sale Price: $4.98
You Save: $9.97
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The author of the Orange Prize finalist Spinsters here tells a remarkable life story that challenges conventional notions of gender definition. Laura Dillon felt like a man trapped in a woman's body, but in the 1920s there were no words to describe her condition, and there was no known solution to being stuck between the sexes. Dillon did all she could on her own: she cut her hair, dressed in men's clothing, and bound her breasts with a belt. But in a desperate bid to feel comfortable in her own skin, she experimented with revolutionary medical technologies—some of which originated in surgeries developed on World War I battlefields—and finally became Michael Dillon. From upper-class orphan girl to Oxford lesbian, from a post-surgery romance with Roberta Cowell (an early male-to-female transsexual) to self-imposed exile as a monk in India, Dillon's story reveals the struggles of early transsexuals.

"In mesmerizing detail ... [Pagan] Kennedy describes the deception, the secrets, the endless humiliations, and the almost unimaginable effort that went into not only Dillon's and Cowell's daily lives, which essentially involved living a lie during every waking moment, but also the struggles they had to endure to find someone who understood what they were going through and, most important, could alter their lives—that is, perform sex change operations. In the early 1950s, Christine Jorgensen became known as the first transsexual (male-to-female), but Man-Made Man makes clear that that distinction belongs to Michael Dillon (female-to-male). Novelist Kennedy's literary chops serve her well in this fascinating and heartbreaking social history and tale of two lost souls, for it is as absorbing and powerful as any fiction."—Booklist (starred review)

 
 
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