Conundrum by Jan Morris
When it comes to conceptualizing my particular brand of femaleness (“womanliness” has a sturdy, childbearing feel to it that I can never rightly lay claim to), an image comes to mind—a long-haired young woman riding a white stag away into an early dawn. (Can you tell I read a lot of fantasy?) It manages to encompass all of my favorite female virtues; a life in rhythmic step with nature and a sense of exploration and, yes, freedom that comes with the whole cisgendered female deal. I’m opening with this for my review of Conundrum because Jan Morris’ conception of femaleness is as equally divorced from physical sex as mine is (although still related). While I hardly presume that the 2010s asexual American cisgendered female experience is similar to the 1970s heterosexual British transwoman experience, I have to admit I felt a lovely sense of camaraderie with Morris, although the differences in social mores is quite apparent.