Contemporary Fiction About Trans Experiences, by Trans Women

You might say that most of fiction is in some way concerned with themes of identity and belonging. Fiction featuring trans women and gender-fluid people as main characters is no different, and indeed naturally lends itself to those themes.  

This list features books published in the past 10 years that are written by trans women and are about trans women – and one gender-fluid person. Torrey Peters’ book “Detransition, Baby” asks the question – can a family rise from the ashes of a messy relationship triangle? — and answers this question with sharp characterization and rueful humor. “Nevada” by Imogen Binnie is a modern classic and progenitor of the current wave of queer fiction, a road trip novel with a punk sensibility. Both “Summer Fun” and “Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl” are slightly magical realist, wonderfully inventive and imaginative, specific in the best way in regards to place and complicated emotion. “A Dream of a Woman” lets its short stories dip into the psychology of modern life for its characters who are figuring out who they are on many levels. 

But they are all, first and foremost, great reads and great works of literature, all solid options to peruse if you are looking for fiction about the modern condition. 

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Detransition, Baby

A loving and thoughtful exploration of family. When Reese and Amy separated, Amy detransitioned to Ames and is now in a relationship with his cis-gendered boss Katrina. When Katrina becomes pregnant with Ames’ baby, Ames, Katrina and Reese consider what an unconventional family could look like. Can they raise the baby together? This title is also available for checkout as an eBook on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby.


Maria and her long-term girlfriend Steph break up, prompting Maria to leave her life in New York City and travel across the country in Steph’s stolen car, looking for some kind of meaning in her life. 

Summer Fun

An obsession with a legendary 1960’s band leads a fan to write a series of letters to the enigmatic former frontman (who sounds a lot like Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys). These letters are rooted in adoration, but as they progress they unveil magical manifestation, self-discovery, and trans identity. You can also check out this title as eAudio on Hoopla.

Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl

Set in the ‘90s, the narrative follows Paul Polydoris, shape-shifter, as he lives a university town life and also transforms into a woman (Polly) just through thinking about it, and in the process learning more about life, sex, love, and the adventure of fluidity. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.

A Dream of a Woman

Across cities in Canada and the United States, Plett’s stories examine the lives of trans women seeking connection, stability, and the key to what being an adult feels like. You can also check out this title as eBook on Hoopla or as eAudio on Hoopla.