Sobel Weber Associates, Inc.

Carolyn Hays

"Hays…pens this poignant letter to her transgender daughter now reaching her teens.Hays does a wonderful job of honestly recalling the turmoil, moves, and challenges that followed as well as the unexpected aid from families and friends. Throughout the letter, she shows constant love and support for her daughter, who remains at peace with her choices. Gradually, Hays and family become eloquent advocates for the girl and the trans community. Families facing similar challenges will be comforted and inspired by this clear-eyed, love-filled tale. 

—Booklist Magazine

“. . . searing, haunting, and inspiring . . . a story that asks us to consider what we would do if the simple act of loving our own child threatened to cost us everything. In prose memorable for its gentleness and wisdom, Ms. Hays’ story is about more than the transgender question: it’s about ignorance and wisdom; hatred and love; men, women, and children. In the end, A GIRLHOOD is about all of us.”

—Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She’s Not There and Good Boy

“It’s impossible to read this book and not root for the fierce, human, beautiful family at its center and the daughter that they—'like tanks’—protect against those who try to steal her joy. A GIRLHOOD is, at its heart, a love story, a grand American love story. It educates without scolding, inspires without sentimentalizing. Who should read this gorgeously written book? Not merely anyone parenting a transgender child, or anyone parenting any child, but anyone who’s ever been a child. This is the book we need now.”

—Beth Ann Fennelly, author of Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother (W. W. Norton)

A GIRLHOOD is a transfixing odyssey of a mother stewarding a preternaturally wise child, and an American family circling to protect that child. . . . I saw facets of my own trans identity I’d never pondered, questions about the construction of self I’d never even thought to pose. At one point Hays says, ‘I want you to build a full rich library of your girlhood—not the story of someone you had to pretend to be.’ The radical positivity of that sentiment put me in tears. . . . A GIRLHOOD is . . . an act of epic compassion.”

—Diana Goetsch, author of This Body I Wore (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

“Sharp, unsettling, painful, beautiful.”

—Teresa Ciabatti, La Lettura, Corriere dell Sera

“Touching, combative, compelling . . . this memoir begins with the suspense of a thriller and ends with . . . hope. [Hays] talks about faith, motherhood, feminism, adolescence, courage, and fear.”

Vogue [Italian edition]

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