How do you know if you are transgender? How do you know if what you want and feel is real? How do you know whether to believe yourself? Cyrus Dunham’s life always felt like a series of imitations—lovable little girl, daughter, sister, young gay woman. But in a culture of relentless self-branding, and in a family subject to the intrusions and objectifications that attend fame, dissociation can come to feel normal. A Lambda Literary Award finalist, Dunham’s fearless, searching debut brings us inside the chrysalis of a transition inflected as much by whiteness and proximity to wealth as by gender, asking us to bear witness to an uncertain and exhilarating process that troubles our most basic assumptions about identity. Written with disarming emotional intensity in a voice uniquely his, A Year Without a Name is a potent, thrillingly unresolved meditation on queerness, family, and selfhood.
By Cyrus Dunham, 2019