”I knew I was different, and I knew that such a thing as transgenderedness existed, I had seen it in the papers and on TV. But I hadn’t realised that it meant me. To me I was a man. A boy.”
Straight-talking Marion, Makke for short, has always known she was a boy. And, although they live in denial, so do all those close to Makke – her mother since Makke’s birth. But admitting something you don’t understand is too hard, so Makke’s loved ones try to turn her into a girl, resorting to violence in the process.
Parties with dresses and presents of dolls, the onset of menstruation and budding breasts, dating and new schools all prove one catastrophe after the next. Makke ends up fighting everything and everyone. It is only on the threshold of adulthood that Makke learns why: he is transgendered, and the environment only accepts one gender. For Makke, a consoling journey into his own self begins, with his mother as his closest support.
Marja Björk’s fourth novel is based on the experiences of her own son. It is a remarkably open and disarming story, one that liberates the reader from fears, prejudices, and misconceptions.
2013 Nominee for the Finlandia Junior Prize
2014 Young Aleksis Prize
I read the novel in a single sitting. It broadened my understanding of what it is like to live in ’the wrong skin’, as a transgendered person… Marja Björk has, yet again, written a novel worth reading. – Eija Huusari, Eeva 2013
(…) the work is not only a strong and unpretentious bildungsroman of a transgendered person, but also a beautiful story about the relationship and, above all, the respect between mother and son. – Mari Viertola, Turun Sanomat 2013
Foreign rights information
An excerpt in English is available.
- Danish (Turbine)
- Dutch (The Netherlands / Middernacht Pers)