Sara Taylor’s sophomore book The Lauras features a genderless teenage narrator named Alex. They equate “gender identification with unwillingly choosing a side in a war.”
After leaving her husband, Alex’s mother takes them on a cross-country road trip where family secrets emerge.
In a snippet posted on NewNowNext Alex muses on their gender identity:
Whether it was my unremarkableness or their apathy, I didn’t seem to register on anyone’s radar, teacher or student. No one called me out for being new, or gave me a hard time about my loose, plain clothes, or tried to trap me into admitting whether I was a boy or a girl. I suppose I was forgettable, came across still as whichever gender a person expected to see, and I was thankful for it even as I worried that this was the last year I’d be able to skate by so easily, that eventually someone would make an issue of my careful androgyny and I’d have to choose my side in the war, make up my mind as to where my allegiance lay, whether I identified more with my mother or my father. Because in my mind that’s what they were asking: do you want to grow up to be like your mom or your dad, Alex? And I still wanted to know why I couldn’t be both, why it was an either/or situation.
The Lauras is available now from Hogarth Press.