reviews

‘How big is the change from man to woman? Becoming Drusilla is a brave and intelligent book, because it is not so much an attempt to answer that question, but to strike out all the previous answers with a red pen.’

Diane Purkiss, Daily Telegraph

‘This is a gentle, wise and touching book, full of warmth, humour, friendship and humanity (though I don’t mean to be winsome: Beard doesn’t flinch over the gory details of the operations, nor, among other things, over Dru’s heroin addiction). Like the good novelist that he is, Beard has resisted the lure of a predictable transsexual ‘transformation’ narrative and the temptation to look for answers. As a result, by the end of the book, Beard – and we along wih him – has arrived at a genuine and much more subtle understanding of what his friend has been through, and what she has become.’

Nick Parker, Literary Review

‘A fascinating biography … [Beard] is an excellent communicator and excels at turning the academic knowledge into understandable sound bites … optimistic, poignant and ultimately uplifting.’

Dr Harvey Rees, Bristol Review of Books

‘Excellent … enlightening and brave … not only does he write a sensitive and subtle biography, he also deconstructs his own ideas and assumptions about himself, and what it means to be a man.’

Hot Press

‘This beautifully written and thoroughly well-researched book is Beard’s searingly honest attempt to understand what his friend had gone through … It is deliciously un-PC, unpreachy, refreshingly free of sentimentality, and, at times, drily comic.

This book’ s genius is to tackle the life of Drusilla Marland and give us a sense of her lived experience, her ordinariness as a woman, born in a particular time, under a particular set of circumstances, in a particular culture; he gently portrays her inconsistencies and foibles, her talents and weaknesses, her courage and nobility – in other words, her humanity.

Beard’s graceful admission of love and humility, at the end of this gentle tribute is touching and life-affirming. This book left me marvelling about human nature. There aren’t many of those kinds of books about.’

Dermod Moore, Irish Post

‘A wonderfully sympathetic account of how and, possibly, why Drew became Dru.’

Val Hennessy, Critic’s Choice, Daily Mail

‘A sensitive and attractive account of a renewal of friendship . . . Beard comes to realize that the extraordinary thing about his friend is just how delightfully ordinary she is.’

Roz Kaveney, Times Literary Supplement

‘Funny, touching and insightful.’

The Oldie

‘Honest and deeply thoughtful . . . [a story] gently handled by this most sensitive and, at times, very humorous book.’

reFresh magazine

‘Fascinating and funny.’

Libby Purves, Radio 4, Midweek

‘Becoming Drusilla is a remarkable story of friendship, courage and humanity. Achingly funny, bruisingly heart-rending and deeply honest and personal, the story is gracefully and humbly told and free of mawkish sentimentality.’

Irish Independent

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