What's Going On Here?

There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.

Friday, August 8, 2014

So I Never Knew..

that Iran has the highest number of gender reassignment surgeries in the world, next to Thailand.  I learned this in If You Could Be Mine.  It is told from the POV of a young Iranian girl who has been in love with her best friend since they were children.  Aside from the fact that her best friend is of a different social class, at least in the eyes of her friend's mother, who is very much a snob, and aside from the fact that many marriages are arranged, there is the other, really big fact that our main character is a girl and her best friend is also a girl. The main character, Sahar, is a smart kid, seventeen, studying her butt off, with hopes to become a doctor.  Her best friend, Nasrin is beautiful and carefree and her parents really hope for her to marry well and have lots of kids.
Nasrin gets engaged and still wants to love Sahar on the side, but Sahar won't do that.  She is desperate to be the one to marry Nasrin, so much so that she wants to have gender reassignment surgery.
In Iran, the government pays for at least half of the operation.  And since the Koran doesn't mention that an operation like this is a sin, it isn't a sin.  The transgendered person is seen as mentally  ill and the surgery is the cure.
Sara Farizan is an Iranian American and this is her first book.  I found it to be profoundly sad and real, yet hopeful. There is a lot to think about here.  I look forward to reading more from Farizan and  I would encourage folks to read this book, because I would love to discuss it.  

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