Before Trans: Three Gender Stories from Nineteenth-Century France

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Product Details
$32.00  $29.76
Stanford University Press
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.1 X 1.5 inches | 1.55 pounds

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About the Author
Rachel Mesch is Professor of French and English at Yeshiva University. She is the author of Having it All in the Belle Epoque: How French Women's Magazines Invented the Modern Woman (Stanford, 2013) and The Hysteric's Revenge: French Women Writers at the Fin de Siècle (2006).
"This fascinating exploration of three remarkable lives explores a wide range of gender outlaw behavior long before the term was invented. Consistently provocative, deeply researched, and amply illustrated, this book will challenge us to think more clearly about what gender nonconformity meant and did 'before trans.'"--Margaret Waller "author of The Male Malady "
"Before Transis an exceedingly well-written, layered, and compelling account of three overlapping gender-variant biographies. These individuals' stories have never been told together, and Rachel Mesch's beautiful braiding of their lives and loves, their desires and disappointments, offers a fresh and original take on trans history."--Jack Halberstam "author of The Queer Art of Failure "
"Before Trans is lucid, compelling, and a must-read for specialists in trans history as well as gender history more broadly. Using modern trans frameworks to understand the past, Rachel Mesch gives us much to contemplate in her analysis of gender identity's complex history."--Emily Skidmore "author of True Sex: The Lives of Trans Men at the Turn of the Twentieth Century "
"Original, impeccably researched, and well written, Before Trans represents a vital contribution to humanities scholarship, French studies, and gender and sexuality studies. This thoughtful and informed work deftly demonstrates how much the past has to teach us about what we think of as ultra-contemporary issues."--Rhonda Garelick "author of Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History "
"Through deeply personal stories of complex individuals, Rachel Mesch gives us a much-needed history of transgender 'before' our modern definitions and categories of gender identity. Joining an exciting new wave of scholarship on gender non-conforming historical figures, Before Trans pushes feminist history beyond the binary, showing how we can better locate and understand past trans practices."--Leah DeVun "author of The Shape of Sex "
"Mesch is careful not to make her subjects too representative of modern ideas about gender roles, and delivers multifaceted portraits of complex individuals, rather than caricatures in service of buzzwords and slogans. This sensitive triple biography will appeal to scholarly readers interested in the origins of trans, queer, and feminist perspectives."--Publishers Weekly