SOCIAL SCIENCES

My Sister: How One Sibling’s Transition Changed Us Both

PublicAffairs. Mar. 2020. 256p. ISBN 9781541762954. $28. memoir
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Actress Selenis Leyva (Orange Is the New Black), along with sibling Marizol Leyva, tell a special story in alternating chapters about their bond, especially as Marizol struggled with her gender identity. Marizol describes being a young adoptee, always looking up to her sister Selenis. Moving from Marizol’s childhood and her unsatisfying relationships to her time as a sex worker, the brief chapters are fast paced yet moving. Selenis relates her support of Marizol’s decision to become a trans model and activist, advocating for trans women of color. And though there are struggles and triumphs along the way, the sisters convey them with respect and honesty. For both, the path to success is never straightforward; there are diversions, but their support brings them closer together.
VERDICT The love between the Leyva sisters is clear throughout this warmly recommended memoir. Its beautiful, conversational style should resonate with a broad range of readers.

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