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Biography Classics Drama Journal/Diary Nonfiction

Fra Mand Til Kvinde: Lili Elbes Bekendelser (Man Into Woman – Danish language edition)

By Lili Elbe (Edited by Niels Hoyer), 1931

(Note: This is the original Danish language edition written by Lili Elbe and Niels Hoyer in 1931) This riveting account of the transformation of the Danish painter Einar Wegener into Lili Elbe is a remarkable journey from man to woman. Einar Wegener was a leading artist in late 1920’s Paris. One day his wife Grete asked him to dress as a woman to model for a portrait. It was a shattering event which began a struggle between his public male persona and emergent female self, Lili. Einar was forced into living a double life; enjoying a secret hedonist life as Lili, with Grete and a few trusted friends, whilst suffering in public as Einar, driven to despair and almost to suicide. Doctors, unable to understand his condition, dismissed him as hysterical. Lili eventually forced Einar to face the truth of his being – he was, in fact, a woman. This bizarre situation took an extraordinary turn when it was discovered that his body contained primitive female sex organs. There followed a series of dangerous experimental operations and a confrontation with the conventions of the age until Lili was eventually liberated from Einar – a freedom that carried the ultimate price. Now with a foreword written by a modern transsexual – the book has not been published in English for decades, and a sensation when it first appeared over seventy years ago – this new edition of Man into Woman, the birth, life and confessions of Lili Elbe, is a story of a marriage and of love and romance that paints a fascinating portrait of a 1930’s European artistic community. Compiled fron Lili’s own letters and manuscripts, and those of the people who adored her, Man into Woman is the Genesis of the Gender Revolution.

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