Girl Boy Girl: How I became JT Leroy

Imagine living a double life. That’s not so really hard to envision. But think of doing it as an internationally recognized author who hangs with the likes of Debbie Harry and Winona Ryder. Suppose you stumbled into this because your sister-in-law was in a jam and needed the physical manifestation of her alter-ego, known as JT.

Girl Boy Girl reveals the details of Savannah Knoop’s six year experience portraying JT Leroy in the international literary and party circuit, where she presents herself as a “gay-male-ex-truck-stop-prostitute-turned-literary-wunderkind.” While this story has not gained the notoriety other recent literary frauds have been given, it has been covered in the national press.

This memoir is unexpected, and while the storyline is rather fascinating, it leaves the reader with more questions than answers. The author did not quite go deep enough to explain what may very well be too hard to explain without serious discomfort: questioning definitions of gender, sexuality, family, love, and loyalty. Knoop may need a little more time to experience life and, thus, gain enough perspective before she truly understands what happened during what was surely a chaotic time in her young adult years.

I recommend this book to any library seeking to offer the most current and hip books. It might interest those readers who dream about the international literary circuit.

Reviewed by, Lisa Forslund
Librarian, North Hennepin Community College


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