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Publisher's Summary

National Best Seller

The lives of three women - transgender and cisgender - collide after an unexpected pregnancy forces them to confront their deepest desires in “one of the most celebrated novels of the year” (Time)

“Reading this novel is like holding a live wire in your hand.” (Vulture)

One of the Best Books of the Year - The New York Times Book Review, NPR, New York Public Library, Esquire, Marie Claire, and Kirkus Reviews • Longlisted for The Women’s Prize • Roxane Gay’s Audacious Book Club Pick • New York Times Editors’ Choice

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's 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

Detransition, Baby is so good I want to scream.” (Carmen Maria Machado)

“This book is exhilaratingly good.” (Jia Tolentino) 

“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

Featured Article: The Best Trans and Nonbinary Listens


As our society becomes more inclusive, some of our most underrepresented communities are getting a much-needed opportunity to tell their stories. For this list, we’ve come up with some of the best trans and nonbinary listens, across all genres and age categories. And because we know that authenticity is important to listeners, our selections are almost exclusively written by queer, trans, and nonbinary authors.

What listeners say about Detransition, Baby

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Emotional Torture

I'm a trans woman who just finished reading this book. It's a good book, and I would highly recommend it to any trans women who are interested in torturing themselves emotionally. I've also never felt so called out in my life.

10 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Unique storyline, excellently written

While I was pleased that this book was well written, containing words beyond those a fourth-grader uses, as in many titles, I thought some of the scenes were too long and drawn out. The story was not as much about the baby they were going to collaboratively raise, and more about the "trans" lifestyle and issues surrounding that. I would have had no issues with this topic, had it been billed as the plot. There were too many "transient" characters as well. I like to invest in the characters I read about. The way the chapters were named was interesting and ok to follow, but I would have preferred "name" chapters.

I loved the chapter where they explore fostering/adopting, as an adoptive parent myself. I enjoyed Ch. 6/Three Years Before Conception, the best.

As the story neared the end, it felt rushed, and the very ending was a bit confusing to me. I had to listen to it again to figure out what happens. It fell flat, in my opinion. The ending could have been so much more vivid, satisfying.

Overall I'd say, give it a shot, for the difference in content vs what's out there. Oh, it does have a lot of adult language, okay for me, but if you're listening on Audible on speaker, be sure your kids aren't around.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

5 people found this helpful

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this is not a good book

the quality of writing/prose in this book is mediocre at best. I think, at times, the author wants to be funny/witty, but cannot do it. either does not have the writing or editing skills. the main character is quite unlikable. which is unfortunate. the last chapter or two, however, really are good storytelling and compelling. but I feel like I had to sort of trudge through all the rest of the book to get to that. the worst part, IMO, is the author reduces trans womanhood to a one or two dimensional reality that is equal parts performative and obsession with being sexually desired by cis men. this book is not worthy of all the notice it has been receiving. there are far better written books by and about trans people. prose matters.

4 people found this helpful

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Innovative trans narrative, sans transsexual spectacle

This was such a breath of fresh air - the characters felt real to the Brooklyn queer scene and also, to my actual friends. Peters really highlighted complicated topics, feelings of worth, HIV stigma and social scene dynamics in accessible ways. Every character feels like a composite of someone I know or miss, I teared up at the nostalgia. My only request would have been for the author to read the Audible version.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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crushingly, heartbreakingly beautiful

it's a story about motherhood, about womanhood, about trans womanhood, about me. Truly incredible art

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

No!!!

this was good, even great at times.
When I got to the end I literally screamed no.
l wanted to know how the story ended.
Felt robbed.
How dare they take us into the heads and hearts of these characters then leave us to wonder.

2 people found this helpful

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Complex, wryly funny, and self-aware

I really enjoyed this story. The characters feel real, with complex and sometimes unpleasant internal worlds and selfish motivations. But somehow, the author manages to make each of them relatable and human in their own struggle and occasional hypocrisy. There is a deep theme of introspecting about the queer experience, and how you feel about that probably depends on how interesting you find that topic. I think it's handled well and I was invested in understanding each character's journey.

2 people found this helpful

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❤️❤️❤️

This book is amazing. Perfect for immersing yourself in the lives of some interesting people. The perfect descriptions and engrossing conversational prose made this hard to take breaks from. I really hope people get this book and enjoy it.

2 people found this helpful