Books and journals

Books and selected journal articles on intersex issues, including fiction, peer-reviewed papers, and biographies.

ABC’s First Tuesday Book Club: Alice Pung calls central character in “Middlesex” transgendered

ABC’s First Tuesday Book Club: Alice Pung calls central character in “Middlesex” transgendered

Jeffrey Eugenides’ book Middlesex uses as his central character a person with 5 alpha reductase, one of the many physical differences that can lead to intersex. It’s an award-winning and popular read, even though it contains some inaccuracies about intersex people, misrepresenting 5 alpha reductase as a difference that inevitably leads to male-like physicality and…
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Gerald N. Callahan’s book, “Between XX and XY”

Gerald N. Callahan’s book, “Between XX and XY”

Gerard Callahan’s book makes for good reading. Here are a few short extracts. Boys and girls … two things are clear. First, no one has yet figured out the list of ingredients needed to make a boy or a girl—neither chromosomes, nor hormones, nor genes, nor family or society or chance, alone or in combination,…
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Karin in LOTL Magazine: “The Legend of Lili Elbe”

Karin in LOTL Magazine: “The Legend of Lili Elbe”

OII Australia is pleased to announce that an article on Lili Elbe, the first intersex person known to have undergone urogenital surgery, has been published in the August 2009 issue of LOTL magazine. LOTL can be read online or a free copy can be picked up in venues and stockists. Download a copy of the…
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AHRC’s Paper ‘Surgery on intersex infants and human rights’

AHRC’s Paper ‘Surgery on intersex infants and human rights’

The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has released a paper titled Surgery on intersex infants and human rights. We deeply regret the report’s equivocation on surgery to modify the appearance of intersex infants and children. The report acknowledges such interventions without commenting on their necessity or lifelong consequences. It is available for download here.

New Scientist on “Between XX and XY”, by Gerald N. Callahan

New Scientist on “Between XX and XY”, by Gerald N. Callahan

New Scientist magazine has published a review of Between XX and XY: Intersexuality and the Myth of Two Sexes, by Gerald N. Callahan PhD, an immunologist and pathologist at Colorado State University. The review is worth reading, and we are now seeking a review copy of the book so that we can look at it…
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Opinion by Karin: Fact, fiction and intersex lives

Opinion by Karin: Fact, fiction and intersex lives

IN a world as heavily mediated as ours, where the boundary between reality staged for entertainment and reality documented for information is blurred, and sometimes lost altogether, works of fiction often encroach upon the territory of fact – the danger is that we may not be able to tell the difference. That certainly happens when…
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David Ebershoff’s novel “The Danish Girl” reissued

David Ebershoff’s novel “The Danish Girl” reissued

Australian independent book publisher Allen & Unwin has re-issued The Danish Girl, the novel based on the life of Lili Elbe née Einar Wegener and her wife, the painter Gerda Wegener, written by David Ebershoff and first released by Viking in the United States in 2000. Lili Elbe was the first well-known intersex person to…
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Karin: Lili Elbe’s autobiography, Man into Woman

Man into Woman, 1953 edition

Download a copy of this book review as a PDF Published autobiographies written by intersex people are rare. Socially-imposed guilt and shame at being born intersex have led to fewer such books being published than one might wish for – we can learn so much from how others like us have lived. I’d always known…
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AHRC “Sex Files” concluding paper released

Australian Human Rights Commission: The Sex Files

The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has released Sex Files: the legal recognition of sex in documents and government records, and this paper is available for download as a PDF or Word .DOC at here. Here are some items in the paper that mention intersex: 13.1 The focus of the sex and gender diversity project…
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