Becoming Drusilla: One Life, Two Friends, Three Genders

Richard Beard

Becoming Drusilla: One Life, Two Friends, Three Genders

For years Richard Beard would take spontaneous holidays with his motor-cycling friend Drew. They would spend a few days walking, camping, cycling, canoing - outdoor, manly fun - before returning to everyday life: wives, children, jobs. Richard was writing novels. Drew was working in the engine-room of cross-channel passenger ferries. Then one year, Drew phoned to announce a complication: he was planning to have a sex change. This is the story of how Drew became Dru, of a friendship, of a fortnight's walking holiday after Dru's operation. And of how what we think we know about ourselves, our friends, and our families can turn out to be very, very wide of the mark. It's about secrets and preconceptions and confronting prejudices you didn't know you had. "Becoming Drusilla" is by turns warm, sad, funny but always human; it holds up a mirror to the extraordinary in outwardly ordinary lives. 4.8 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
Becoming Drusilla: One Life, Two Friends, Three Genders

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Biography, Psychology & Psychiatry, Sex & Sexuality
Format Paperback
Pages 256
RRP £12.99
Date of Publication May 2008
ISBN 978-1846550676
Publisher Harvill Secker
 

For years Richard Beard would take spontaneous holidays with his motor-cycling friend Drew. They would spend a few days walking, camping, cycling, canoing - outdoor, manly fun - before returning to everyday life: wives, children, jobs. Richard was writing novels. Drew was working in the engine-room of cross-channel passenger ferries. Then one year, Drew phoned to announce a complication: he was planning to have a sex change. This is the story of how Drew became Dru, of a friendship, of a fortnight's walking holiday after Dru's operation. And of how what we think we know about ourselves, our friends, and our families can turn out to be very, very wide of the mark. It's about secrets and preconceptions and confronting prejudices you didn't know you had. "Becoming Drusilla" is by turns warm, sad, funny but always human; it holds up a mirror to the extraordinary in outwardly ordinary lives.

Reviews

The Daily Telegraph

Diane Purkiss

How big is the change from man to woman? Becoming Drusilla is a brave and intelligent book, because it is not so much an attempt to answer that question, but to strike out all the previous answers with a red pen... Germaine Greer once remarked that transsexuals suggest that all women are actually as unnatural as can be. A miserable conclusion, since it's natural femininity that Dru badly wants, a resolved equation between body and self. Beard is too honest to offer it to her or to us, and it's his refusal to do so that makes this book such a fine one.

05/07/2008

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The Times

Iain Finlayson

...[Drusilla is] a funny, mostly matter-of-fact character who manages the transition from engine room mechanic on cross-Channel ferries to the daintier Dru in heels and pearl earrings with more aplomb than Richard. His book is as much about his own dilemmas and reassessment of his friendship as about Dru's sex change.

15/04/2009

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