Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Learning to Roar by Hafren Evan (#transgender #waria)

It’s not often that an author can pull off the melding of so many different elements into a  seamless masterpiece, but somehow Hafren Evan has accomplished this very thing in “Learning to Roar” .

This is a tale of gender transition, codependency, serious mental illness, and horrible graphic imagery, religious conversion, lost love, Islamic Sharia law, murder and one person’s search for self. These are all present, but the telling of this story in such rich, almost poetic language is the unifying element that turns it all into a delicacy and makes it all work so well.

The sole weak point, in this writer’s opinion, was the ending, which, although it seemed to occur at the right point, was too sudden for this reviewer’s taste, particularly in view of the overall strength of this book.

Then again, it could be that this reaction was simply disappointment that the story ended at all.

Hafren's books are novels with transgender protagonists or portraying gender nonconforming characters and the difficulties they face. Her writing centers on characters who don't 'fit in' for various reasons, including where they find themselves on the gender spectrum. Their individuality is often a quest beyond the norms of social conformity. However, plot's important as well as character --- she wants to write satisfying stories readers will enjoy, despite tending to write psychological novels. 

No comments:

Post a Comment