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The Bold World: A Memoir of Family and Transformation

The Bold World: A Memoir of Family and Transformation

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Inspired by her transgender son, activist Jodie Patterson explores identity, gender, race, and authenticity to tell the real-life story of a family’s history and transformation.

As an African American growing up on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in the 1970s, when neighborhoods defined people, Patterson learned early on to engage with her community for strength and comfort. But then in 2009 the mother of five had her world turned upside down. Realizing that her definition of community wasn’t wide enough for her own child’s needs, Patterson forced the world wide open. In The Bold World, we witness a mother reshaping her attitudes and beliefs, as well as those of her community, to meet the needs of her transgender son, Penelope—and opening the minds of everyone in her family who absolutely, unequivocally refused to conform. The result is an intimate portrait and an exquisite study in identity, courage, and love.

Hardcover, 352 pages.

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  • 1250 New York Ave NW
    Washington, D.C. 20005
  • Monday–Saturday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
    Sunday: 12 p.m.–5 p.m.