10 - Torrey Peters

In the first episode of season 2 of Read Like a Writer, Torrey Peters discusses her debut novel, Detransition, Baby, a uniquely trans take on motherhood, love and friendship. Follow Torrey on Twitter: @torreypeters

Anna Fielding is a journalist and event host. Follow Anna on Twitter: @anna_anna

Follow @readlikeapod on Twitter.

'Irresistible ... Detransition, Baby is the first great trans realist novel' Grace Lavery, Guardian

'A voraciously knowing, compulsively readable novel' Chris Kraus

'Tremendously funny and sexy as hell' Juliet Jacques

Reese nearly had it all: a loving relationship with Amy, an apartment in New York, a job she didn't hate. She'd scraped together a life previous generations of trans women could only dream of; the only thing missing was a child. Then everything fell apart and three years on Reese is still in self-destruct mode, avoiding her loneliness by sleeping with married men.

When her ex calls to ask if she wants to be a mother, Reese finds herself intrigued. After being attacked in the street, Amy de-transitioned to become Ames, changed jobs and, thinking he was infertile, started an affair with his boss Katrina. Now Katrina's pregnant. Could the three of them form an unconventional family - and raise the baby together?

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1.) Book you recommend most frequently


Honestly, probably Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels—But read out of order. I recommend that people read them in this order: Book 2, Book 3, Book 1, Book 4. Because that sort of simulates how I experience adult life, where midway through, I sort of reexamined my childhood to understand why I am how I am. Skipping book 1 in the Neapolitan novels creates a similar effect.


2.) Book which people might be surprised you love


The Passage by Justin Cronin. What can I say? I like an exciting action vampire thriller!


3.) Book or writer which inspired your most recent publication


Maggie Nelson’s Argonauts. I wanted to be in conversation with her. I was arguing with her book in my head before I started mine.


4.) Favourite classic


Halldor Laxness’ Independent People. Nobel Prize winner, but that makes it seem stuffy. It's really weird and funny and touching. Lots of sheep. 


5.) Upcoming fiction title you have recently read


The Years by Annie Ernaux completely shocked me and is a style of writing that I don’t see so much in American writing, and wish I saw more of it.


6.) Upcoming non-fiction title you have recently read


Norweigian Wood by Lars Mytting. A guide to chopping wood, but really so so much more. It was a best seller in Scandanavia, I think.


7.) The book you go back to


The Possessed by Elif Batuman. I just love this book so much and I’m always going to it for style pointers and voice. I am such a fan and when she blurbed my book, I almost couldn’t handle it. 

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