My Life As A Boy  


The author experiments with fictional autobiography as she tells the story of leaving a marriage and falling in love with a woman. My Life as A Boy is a story of gender play, where the heroine ironically considers the idea that she has to “become a boy,” in order to act freely on desire and passion.

Publisher’s Description: “By turns provocative and insightful, My Life as A Boy is a story of a woman pursuing what she wants without hesitation, trying to understand what happens between the first stirrings of desire and the determination to possess the object of that desire. In this work of non-fiction, that unfolds as dramatically as a novel, Chernin charges right into the center of a taboo to reveal what it’s like for a woman to discover another part of her nature.

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“In My Life As A Boy, Chernin shows a rare lucidity in describing emotional states and a tremendous sensitivity to the nuances of relationships.”

– Naomi Wolf

“Possessed of a deep awareness of a mystery at the heart of all relationships, Chernin has written a delicate and thoughtful meditation on finding the courage to transform your life despite the risks such a process entails.”


“Required reading for anyone who recognizes the restrictions that society’s sexual identities impose on all of us.”


“…a classical feminist tale. But what’s new is Chernin’s play on language, the way she uses the phrase “the boy” to stand in for her yearning for autonomy. Hers is an awakening with a twist: How many women have the nerve to stare at you, wearing pink lipstick, and call themselves a boy?”

– San Francisco Focus

“It’s hard to decide which is cheekier: this book’s title or its sub-title, A Woman’s Story…Twenty years after the event Chernin has been able to write about her love for Hadamar with great freshness, without either nostalgia or bitterness.”

– Los Angeles Times

“Chernin writes with the grace of a poet and the insight of a psychotherapist (she is both)…Chernin brings the shape-shifting nature of intimate relationships alive–to demonstrate how deadening it can be to try fitting people into categories. The truth about love, she tells us, and about people in love, is more indefinable and various than we have allowed ourselves to know.”

– San Francisco Chronicle

“Similar to her last book, “In My Father’s Garden,” this one contains many luminous passages which shed light on the human soul. Kim Chernin is a poetic explorer of the force field of desire, the ardent yearning that lies behind our passionate quest for love.”

– Cultural Information Service

“…the author gives us an illuminating look at the liberation that comes from abandoning prescribed roles in the name of adventure. No doubt life would be far more interesting and honest if more women became boys. Then all we’d need is My Life as A Girl, a companion book about how men could get in touch with their feminine sides.”

– The Boston Phoenix

“Fast moving, amusing, morality-free tale.”

– Oakland Tribune

“Narratively speaking, Chernin’s writing is strong and evocative. She is a good story-teller. At times I was reminded of Djuna Barnes’ Nightwood.”

– Lambda Book Report