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Publisher's Summary

New York Times editors' choice

“An unforgettable portrait of three women, trans and cis, who wrestle with questions of motherhood and family making...Detransition, Baby might destroy your book club, but in a good way.” (Andrea Lawlor, author of Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl)

“A tale of love, loss, and self-discovery as singular as it is universal, and all the sweeter for it.” (Entertainment Weekly)

Roxane Gay’s Audacious Book Club Pick • A Marie Claire Book Club Pick • Named One of the Most Anticipated Books of the Year by O: The Oprah Magazine Vulture Marie Claire Cosmo Refinery29 Bustle Buzzfeed Esquire The Millions Electric Lit Autostraddle Time • CNN • Daily Kos • Hello Giggles • SheReads • Hey Alma Ms. MagazineLitHub The A.V. Club 

Reese almost had it all: a loving relationship with Amy, an apartment in New York City, a job she didn't hate. She had scraped together what previous generations of trans women could only dream of: a life of mundane, bourgeois comforts. The only thing missing was a child. But then her girlfriend, Amy, detransitioned and became Ames, and everything fell apart. Now Reese is caught in a self-destructive pattern: avoiding her loneliness by sleeping with married men.

Ames isn't happy, either. He thought detransitioning to live as a man would make life easier, but that decision cost him his relationship with Reese - and losing her meant losing his only family. Even though their romance is over, he longs to find a way back to her. When Ames' boss and lover, Katrina, reveals that she's pregnant with his baby - and that she's not sure whether she wants to keep it - Ames wonders if this is the chance he's been waiting for. Could the three of them form some kind of unconventional family - and raise the baby together?

This provocative debut is about what happens at the emotional, messy, vulnerable corners of womanhood that platitudes and good intentions can't reach. Torrey Peters brilliantly and fearlessly navigates the most dangerous taboos around gender, sex, and relationships, gifting us a thrillingly original, witty, and deeply moving novel.

©2021 Torrey Peters (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“I love Detransition, Baby for its wit, its irreverence. And I love it even more for its reverence - its reverence for the quest for womanhood, motherhood, selfhood. Torrey Peters evokes these characters with such fullness and compassion that they felt like dear friends to me. This is an important book, and I couldn’t put it down.” (Helen Phillips, author of The Need)

Detransition, Baby updates and transcends (trans-scends!) the Sex and the City model, while fully delivering its many satisfactions! What an exciting time we are living in, to see our beloved literary forms expanded by so many new perspectives! . . . A noteworthy advance in the history of the novel!” (Elif Batuman, best-selling author of The Idiot

“This book. This book. Torrey Peters just took everything that couldn’t be done and did it. Out of the vibrant particulars of trans experience, Detransition, Baby renews a fundamental novelistic ambition: to peel back the skin of social life and illuminate the captivating details of desire and family underneath. Plenty of books are good; this book is alive.” (Jordy Rosenberg, author of Confessions of the Fox)

What listeners say about Detransition, Baby

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emotional gut punch

made me an absolute emotional wreck a few times throughout. the ending is also an emotional gut punch and sometimes the characters are a little too relatable for comfort. good stuff

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Dragged on and on after promising start

This book started off interesting and then DRAGGED ON AND ON. I was excited about the topic at first but could then barely force my way through to the end.

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About trans people by a trans person!

A compelling story that actually represents trans experiences. After subsisting on the half-mirrors provided by cis authors guessing at trans experiences, this was a breath of fresh air. Thank you Torrey Peters.

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Eye Opening, Important

Detransition Baby is a very important piece of fiction. It's a story that won't reside well with many, but it's timely and intimate, Transgender people are finally getting a taste of equal rights over the past decade but few people who aren't part of the LGBT community don't have much understanding of the struggle transgender people face. Detransition, Baby is the story of a man, who was previously transgender, but decided to stop with the hormone therapy and live life as a visual male. After becoming involved with a woman, she falls pregnant. The story bounces back and forth from past to present, and we are introduced to several characters our main character has met along his (her) journey as a transgender person, and through detransition. The characters are the star in this tale, but the prose give the reader/listener a good history about the struggles transgender people face, and the trials and tribulations of years of discrimination and just not fitting in anywhere.

-Wendi

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Lots to consider.

I went through this faster than expected. The characters are interesting, layered people. I'm not sure about the way the different timelines were handled, but the but I enjoyed everything else. This books gives some insight into the trans experience and how it is different from and insufficiently supported by other members of LGBTQ+ communities and (CIS) feminists. There is a lot to think and talk about.

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Complicated

I love what Peters is doing for trans women - which is writing us as complex, human, flawed characters while clearly articulating the real struggles of our experience. That being said, the plot requires a lot of mental gymnastics. The reader - while talented - seems to take away from the story at times and some words are occasionally butchered. Overall - this book serves its purpose as a love note to womanhood, especially trans womanhood.

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Amazing, mesmerizing, and authentic

I love the two main characters of this book: both have struggled through male to female gender transition, one has gone back to presenting male and neither are speaking to each other at the start of the book. Their queerness is the backdrop for a highly readable (and surprisingly relatable) meditation on the meaning of family, stability, sexuality, and humanity.

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Smart, Sexy, Funny, Beautiful

I feel seen reading this book. Other trans* books I've read have tended toward biographical accounts a woman going through transition, or theoretical books about transmisogyny or queer theory. But this book is a work of suspenseful fiction, by and about trans women. Women like me, leading lives like mine. Sensationalized, sure. Overly serendipitous, granted. Real life isn't usually as exciting or fast paced as this book, but Torrey Peters isn't afraid to dig into topics that affect our lives just because they may be unsavory or controversial. By being honest, she's able to give us something real, full of awkwardness, fear, pain, sexiness, humor, and beauty.

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A messy, perfect book

There is so much to unpack that I can’t even begin to start. This book was messy and perfect. I recognize that I identify with the Katrina character, if any, yet I still felt heard by this book. The writing is witty and acerbic, the plot weaving and touching. I felt for all of the characters. I hope there will be a sequel!