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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,260 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Chris Bohjalian Narrator: Elizabeth Kim, Judith Ivey Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2000 ISBN: 9780375417313
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With Trans-Sister Radio, Chris Bohjalian, author of the bestseller Midwives, again confronts his very human characters with issues larger than themselves, here tackling the explosive issue of gender.

When Allison Banks develops a crush on Dana Stevens, she knows that he will give her what she needs most: attention, gentleness, kindness, passion. Her daughter, Carly, enthusiastically witnesses the change in her mother. But then a few months into their relationship, Dana tells Allison his secret: he has always been certain that he is a woman born into the wrong skin, and soon he will have a sex-change operation. Allison, overwhelmed by the depth of her passion, and finds herself unable to leave Dana. By deciding to stay, she finds she must confront questions most people never even consider. Not only will her own life and Carly’s be irrevocably changed, she will have to contend with the outrage of a small Vermont community and come to terms with her lover’s new body—hoping against hope that her love will transcend the physical.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] sexy, exquisitely sympathetic novel…A fascinating read about transsexuals and small-town life.”

    Mademoiselle

  • Inspired…. [a] highly original novel…. Impossible to put down. USA Today
  • Trans-Sister Radio…bears Bohjalian’s hallmark: ordinary people in heartbreaking circumstances behaving with grace and dignity…. Speaks directly to the heart. San Francisco Chronicle
  • “Bohjalian has…written an interesting [and] ultimately, a quite daring novel, and a worthy successor to Midwives. Like that novel, Trans-Sister Radio challenges readers’ most dearly held notions of biological reality. Philadelphia Inquirer
  • “An insightful look at love and sexuality…with great compassion and insight. Los Angeles Times
  • A though-provoking tale with a rich, varied texture…. [An] addictive read. The Denver Post
  • “A thought-provoking story, on all kinds of levels…[A] fun read, and it raises some very good questions.”

    Oregonian

  • “A though-provoking tale with a rich, varied texture…[An] addictive read.”

    Denver Post

  • “Transsexuality goes mainstream in this Scarlet Letter for a softer, gentler but more complicated age…Bohjalian humanizes the transsexual community and explains the complexities of sex and gender in an accessible, evenhanded fashion, making a valuable contribution to a dialogue of social and political import.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Bohjalian’s stock in trade is tapping into the ethical dilemmas of modern day life in a way that shows their human dimensions, the price we pay for being who we are…[Trans-Sister Radio] challenges easy assumptions about love and gender in a way that will keep people talking.”

    Times-Picayune

  • “[Bohjalian] writes well, and constructs his story seamlessly.”

    Washington Post

  • “Eminently readable…[If] you love a speedy read, a look at how the other half lives, and lots of provocative questions and moral mindbenders, then Trans-Sister Radio will come in loud and clear.”

    Miami Herald

  • “Bohjalian is a social scientist accustomed to exposing the stories of people caught in marginal situations they can’t ignore and against which they will be forever measured. In Trans-Sister Radio, he has taken an Erlenmeyer flask, filled it with The People Next Door, added a dash of Transsexual, and stirred…[A] page-turner that sheds a mainstream light on a well-hidden part of America.”

    Lambda Book Report

  • “Love stories are common. Original love stories are rare. Creative and well-told love stories are a treasure. Chris Bohjalian’s new book…fits the latter description…[A] beautifully told story.”

    Fort Wroth Morning Star-Telegram

  • “[Bohjalian] uses his extraordinary gifts for storytelling and character development to delve into further controversial areas—the acceptance (or not) of transsexuals in today’s society and the endless complexities that gender adds to our lives…Bohjalian is a master at exposing the emotions of a highly charged situation and carefully dissecting controversy.”

    Library Journal

  • “In Trans-Sister Radio Bohjalian makes us confront significant matters and consider how they shape our lives.”

    Burlington Free Press

  • “Plausible and entertaining…sincere.”

    People

  • “An insightful look at love and sexuality…with great compassion and insight.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Bohjalian has…written an interesting [and] ultimately, a quite daring novel, and a worthy successor to Midwives. Like that novel, Trans-Sister Radio challenges readers’ most dearly held notions of biological reality.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “Trans-Sister Radio…bears Bohjalian’s hallmark: ordinary people in heartbreaking circumstances behaving with grace and dignity…Speaks directly to the heart.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Bohjalian is especially good at domestic scenes and dialogues. As in his earlier stories, he has each major character give expression to his/her individual version of and reaction to what is happening, drawing the reader into their lives and emotional states. It is something like a well-composed opera: First one character sings what is going on, then another has a solo, while a third does a reprise of the plot in a different key.”

    Vermont Sunday Magazine

  • “[Bohjalian] dazzles readers with a compelling story, distinctive characters and yet another highly charged subject…Trans-Sister Radio is a serious novel in its focus on a social issue that most people haven’t confronted, but Bohjalian manages to imbue it with suspense and depth, making it an arresting read.”

    Chattanooga Times and Free Press

  • “Bohjalian explores a charged subject…by creating honest characters who compel us to care about them. He expertly spins a tale that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.”

    Vermont Life

  • “Each character’s voice is distinct and authentic…Bohjalian manages to get at the heart of the story behind the raw material of news headlines—desire and the human longing for a soul mate.”

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  • “Provocative and insightful, this gender-bending novel will make readers question what it means to be a man or a woman, and how strongly these identities are influenced by biological and cultural pressures.”

    Booklist

  • “A solid, intelligent, and extremely entertaining fictional achievement.”

    William H. Pritchard

  • “Informative, well-researched, and respectful…[A] satisfying romance.”

    Barre Times Argus

  • “One of the most thought-provoking, emotionally charged novels addressing the complications and the triumphs of transsexualism.”

    Windy City Times

  • “Bohjalian doesn’t write novels so much as he weaves them, one thread into the next. The result is a fine tapestry, delicately and perfectly constructed…There’s nothing tawdry or sensational here, unless you believe…that an enjoyable literary work in an age of Harry Potters dominating the bestseller list is a sensation.”

    Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

  • “Inspired…[A] highly original novel…Impossible to put down.”

    USA Today

  • “A fascinating and challenging view of relationships and gender.”

    AudioFile

  • A 2000 Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Transgender Literature

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Keely | 2/20/2014

    " SO far this is one of the best books I have ever read. Perhaps because I have a huge interest in human sexuality and social sciences, but I am finding this book so intriguing. Can't wait to finish it "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Blanche Ferrar | 2/1/2014

    " another great Bohjalian novel. wonderful twist to the ending. B always amazes with his incredible knowledge of his off beat subjects and his sensitivity and ability to get the reader totally involved in the story and characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 cathepsut | 1/29/2014

    " I liked it. I thought Dana came across very well. Each chapter is told by a different person, it gives a nice change of perspective, although I have to agree with a review I read on Amazon - all the characters sound alike, regardless if they are 19 or 37. But still, refreshingly different, with an unexpected ending. I wouldn't mind reading a sequel, to see how the life of those two develops. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debra | 1/15/2014

    " I love Bohjalian's writing style. He is good at taking an issue, in this case a trans-sexual, and making the reader question their ethical values. Even though at times he goes into graphic details about the surgery involved in changing genders I found this a fascinating read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liz | 1/13/2014

    " The BEST of all his novels (to date). I liked it more than Midwives. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lucille Zimmerman | 1/2/2014

    " Chris is my favorite author and this is my favorite book of his. It was much different than I expected, especially if you base your book purchases by the cover art. I'm not much into the kinky side of life, and that is what I thought this book was going to offer. Instead, I was pulled in by some very lovely, very real characters whom I still think about today. Chris really did his research using a real-life hospital in southeast Colorado which does transgender surgeries. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carla | 12/31/2013

    " Thought that this book tackled an interesting topic (transexuality) in a unique way (story told from multiple viewpoints). I am always impressed with the authentic voices of Chris Bohjalian's female characters. A quick read that will get you thinking about love, gender, stereotypes, etc. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah | 12/28/2013

    " Chris Bohjalian kind of walks the chick lit line, but I'm a sucker for page turners. "Midwives" and "The Law of Similars" were great. Summer reading! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherri | 12/24/2013

    " Great story. I really enjoyed the shifting perspective, hearing the story from so many sides. I also appreciated the open discussion of gender and sexual fluidity from first hand experiences. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carolyn Phelps | 12/17/2013

    " The story of a transgender man who is preparing for gender reassignment, it is told from the viewpoints of the four main characters. Although the topic will make some people uncomfortable, I think the author does a good job of getting inside the skin of the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Snow | 12/12/2013

    " It has a good twist that isn't all that surprising when you think about it from the viewpoint of constructing a story, but it doesn't come across as contrived -- the story feels natural as it unfolds. Another good read by Chris Bohjalian. :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Monica Moore | 11/29/2013

    " One of my favorite books - thought provoking (though farfetched at times) and a page turner. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Meridith | 7/26/2013

    " This was a weird book, but it was thoroughly amazing. I don't understand how Chris Bohjalian can write from the point of view of a trans-sexual without being one. It was a pretty incredible read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cara | 7/22/2013

    " Quite the story and very well told about transsexualism. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheryl | 6/25/2013

    " Another slightly disturbing book. I had to skip a chapter about surgery, but it gives you a lot of insight about a different way of life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lorri | 4/25/2013

    " Trans-Sister Radio provides a sensitive, insightful, well-researched glimpse into the life of a person transitioning from male to female. It also details the far-reaching impact that transitioning exerts on those around her, and offers a powerful indictment against our gender-judgmental society. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 3/23/2013

    " Bohjalian sure covers diverse topics. He did a good job here in a sypathetic but not maudlin portrayal. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 amanda | 3/21/2013

    " shows the complexity of relationships, leaves you questioning the difference between gender and sexual orientation, and captures small town new england on every page. my only disappointment was the quick ending, but overall I was impressed! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill Mccallum | 2/6/2013

    " An interesting portrait into a transgender. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frank | 11/7/2012

    " Fantastic. This story is full of hope and love and tolerance (by most of the characters). I want to know what's happening with the characters now and years later because I felt I knew them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy Lafayette | 6/6/2012

    " Eh. Not bad. Not awesome. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betty | 4/21/2012

    " This was a really good read - highly recommend it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bettina | 3/25/2012

    " Did not care for the ending - too far-fetched "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tree | 2/19/2012

    " This is an original book that will undoubtedly be better written in the future. It's a brave new world. What does gender mean when it come to love? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 1/15/2012

    " Extremely intersting!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurel | 12/3/2011

    " Fascinating not only as a piece of great literature, but also for the depth of exploration of trans-gender experiences. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kellyann | 6/23/2011

    " A little too "I'm conveying information to you" for a novel, though that is understandable for a novel featuring a transgender person undergoing gender-reassignment surgery. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicole | 6/19/2011

    " I really enjoyed this book. Thanks for the recommendation, Shannon! It made me think about what my reaction would be if I were in a similar situation as the character, Allie, too. It was well written and thoroughly captured my interest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 6/17/2011

    " This book has so many layers. I didn't like how graphic it was, but as a teacher myself it is really making me think about Teacher-as-A-Teacher and Teacher-as-A-Person-with-A-Life-Away-From-School. It took awhile for me to get into it, but then I couldn't stop. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacey | 6/15/2011

    " I couldn't put this book down. I liked how it was narrated by the 4 main characters-very interesting subject. The ending was predictable and somewhat disappointing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jackie | 6/14/2011

    " This book was an "accidental find" for me, but a good read. I learned a great deal about a subject which I wouldn't have sought out otherwise. I love that the story was told from 4 different points of view. It's a love story unlike any I've read before. I couldn't put it down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin | 5/8/2011

    " amazing... i had never read a book in regards to this subject, but it was phenomenal. i had a hard time putting it down. it, to me, is comprable to My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. Perfect writing, perfect illusions, perfect visuals, just perfect book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 5/3/2011

    " Interesting and entertaining read. Until the last 20 pages. Hokiest ending EVER. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heaether | 4/12/2011

    " Really lost interest in this book quickly! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 4/10/2011

    " Favorite novel/fiction about love and transgendered people. Doesn't pull any punches and is straightforward and direct while never forgetting about the love. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allison | 3/28/2011

    " I agree with a friend's assessment - the book could have ended long before it did. Bohjalian wrapped up the loose ends to at least my satisfaction... and then kept going.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelli | 3/24/2011

    " Totally unconventional love story/ story of self-discovery. "

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About the Author
Author Chris Bohjalian

Chris Bohjalian is the author of numerous books, including several that made the New York Times bestselling list. His novel Midwives was a selection of Oprah’s Book Club. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages, and three of his novels have become movies: Secrets of Eden, Midwives, and Past the Bleachers.

About the Narrator

Judith Ivey was born in 1951 in El Paso, Texas. She was not quite yet a Tony Award–winner, but already a prolific Broadway and stage actress when she made her film debut appearance as Steve Martin’s love interest in Arthur Hiller’s The Lonely Guy. She then went on to star as Jennifer Jason Leigh’s older sister in the southern gothic thriller Sister, Sister. She came to star (despite her impressive resume) as what would be her better remembered role, Texan B. J. Poteet in the last season of Designing Women. Other notable characters she has played in film include Keanu Reeves’ mother in Devil’s Advocate, one of three intrepid psychics investigating a haunted house in Stephen King’s three-part miniseries Rose Red, and the recurring role of Debra Messing’s mother-in-law Eleanor Markus on Will & Grace. Her audiobook narrations have won her five AudioFile Earphones Awards.