The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell

From the NY Times Book Review: True Story of a 19th Century Transgengered Woman

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There are only two basic plots in fiction, writers occasionally say: “Somebody goes on a journey” and, the other side of the coin, “A stranger comes to town.”

Brilliantly, William Klaber has managed to combine them. In this deeply satisfying historical novel, he recreates the voice of Lucy Ann Lobdell, a real mid-19th-­century New York woman who abandoned her young daughter and set out — dressed and passing as a man — to find the independence (and money) denied her as a woman. After many years of wandering as Joseph Lobdell, she married another woman and eventually found herself locked away as a lunatic.

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