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Memoir / Gay & Lesbian Interest / Gender Studies / Judaica
• SPRING 2012 •
A Jewish Journey between Genders
“Not only a memoir of transgender experience, it’s also a
story of family heartbreak and family love; of growth as a
teacher and writer; and, not least, of a self deeply con-
nected to God and Judaism throughout a life lived across
—Rabbi Jill Hammer, author of
The Jewish Book of Days
and director of spiritual education at the Academy for Jewish
Professor Jay Ladin made headlines around the world when, after years
of teaching literature at Yeshiva University, he returned to the Ortho-
dox Jewish campus as a woman—Joy Ladin. In
Through the Door of
, Joy Ladin takes readers inside her transition as she changed
genders and, in the process, created a new self.
With unsparing honesty and surprising humor, Ladin wrestles
with both the practical problems of gender transition and the larger
moral, spiritual, and philosophical questions that arise. Ladin recounts
her struggle to reconcile the pain of her experience living as the
“wrong” gender with the pain of her children in losing the father they
love. We eavesdrop on her lifelong conversations with the God whom
she sees both as the source of her agony and as her hope for transcend-
ing it. We look over her shoulder as she learns to walk and talk as a
woman after forty-plus years of walking and talking as a man. We stare
with her into the mirror as she asks herself how the new self she is cre-
ating will ever become real.
Ladin’s poignant memoir takes us from the death of living as the
man she knew she wasn’t, to the shattering of family and career that
accompanied her transition, to the new self, relationships, and love
she finds when she opens the door of life.
“Joy Ladin’s book succeeds so well because it is anything but a trans
tract; it is a fierce story of regular old human life: hideous choices,
endless repercussions, occasional glory, frequent humiliation, abiding
difficulty. It could have happened to us. She makes us believe it.”
—Kay Ryan, former poet laureate of the United States, and winner of
the Pulitzer Prize for poetry
David and Ruth Gottesman Professor of English at Stern
College for Women of Yeshiva University, is the first openly trans-
gender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution. She is the author of
five books of poetry, including, most recently,
Coming to Life
March 2012
LC: 2011040974 PS
270 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
Cloth $26.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-28730-6
e-book $14.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-28733-7
Of related interest
65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them
Edited by
My Diva
is a hit parade of wonderful women who’ve inspired wonderful men. Anyone who’s
ever experienced a moment of doubt—or hope—or pure joy—inspired by someone who’s just a
little out there, just a little over the top, will find themselves reflected in this immensely lovable
New Orleans Times Picayune
Published May 2009
LC: 2008043125 HQ 320 pp. 6 x 9
ISBN 978-0-299-23120-0 Cloth $24.95 t ISBN 978-0-299-23123-1 e-book $9.99 t
: G
David Bergman, Joan Larkin, and
Raphael Kadushin, Series Editors
Wisconsin edition not for sale in Europe, Russia,
Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Australia,
and New Zealand.