Trans-Sister Radio (2000)



When schoolteacher Allison Banks develops a crush on university professor Dana Stevens, she knows that he will give her what she needs most: gentleness, kindness, passion. Her daughter, Carly, enthusiastically witnesses the change in her mother. But 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 love, finds herself unable to leave him—but by deciding to stay she must face 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 her small Vermont community and come to terms with her lover’s new sense of self—and hope against hope that her love will transcend their ingrained notions of what it means to be a man and a woman.


“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

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

USA Today

“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

“Relentlessly pull[s] the reader into the story … [An] addictive read.”

The Denver Post

“A “well-calibrated satire of cryptocurrency culture. . .[and] a blazing, Tarantino-esque climax.”

Publishers Weekly