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Transgender and The Literary ImaginationChanging Gender in Twentieth-Century Writing$
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Rachel Carroll

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474414661

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474414661.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 10 July 2020

Blue Births and Last Words: Rewriting Race, Nation and Family in Jackie Kay’s Trumpet (1998)

Blue Births and Last Words: Rewriting Race, Nation and Family in Jackie Kay’s Trumpet (1998)

Chapter:
(p.158) Chapter 5 Blue Births and Last Words: Rewriting Race, Nation and Family in Jackie Kay’s Trumpet (1998)
Source:
Transgender and The Literary Imagination
Author(s):

Rachel Carroll

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474414661.003.0006

Posthumous exposure, often on the grounds of medical examination, has acted as the problematic vehicle through which a number of transgender lives have been bequeathed to history, with the perceived disparity between sex and gender serving as a pretext to forcibly rewrite the transgender person’s identity in public memory. Inspired by the life story of American jazz musician, Billy Tipton (1914-1989), Jackie Kay’s novel Trumpet explores the aftermath of posthumous exposure but is notable for its purposeful thwarting of the narrative dynamics which conventionally accompany it. This chapter will explore how its focus on a Scottish musician of African heritage and his relationship with his adopted mixed-race son questions the privileging of essentialising narratives of ‘birth’, including those to do with gender, nation, race and family.

Keywords:   adoption, biography, black British, fiction, race, Scottish, transgender

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