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Presented by State Library Victoria

Finding Nevo - First Impressions

Finding Nevo is deeply personal, a deeply intriguing look into the life of a homosexual, transgender and non-binary person named Nevo. They state early in the book, and repeat often enough, that their book is only representative of a single trans narrative and does not represent the untold aggression or unrequited acceptance that trans people receive widely in their respective lives. Finding Nevo is also about community, the will to find one that accepts you for who you feel you are rather than who you should be. Nevo feels unkempt in some portions of the Jewish community, rejecting some expectations, but ultimately finds their place within it.

The thing that really struck me about finding Nevo was how educational it strives to be far from a simple recount of the events of their life, the book also tries to address the issues behind coming out and the strains it can put on a family, especially as Nevo comes out three times, as homosexual, transgender and non-binary. While re-stating the fact that their life is a singular, perhaps different narrative to others, they give advice on how they found their way through a dark path.

I would recommend reading it if you’re looking for a honest and mature reflection on the pains of growing up different from the norm.

Also, apologies that this is so short. At a rough 200~250 pages, Finding Nevo is short too, a quick but educational read on a unique life. The writing style is fine; simple and easy to follow, and so it’s easy to go from one page to the next, although unsatisfying. The one thing that really irked me about the book was that the ending was aiming to be sentimental and reflective, but didn’t feel like a good ending. I can’t describe why, I just came away feeling underwhelmed.

Please feel free to add anything that really struck you about the book, these are just some of the things that got stuck in my head about the book.

 

(Feel free to point out to me any disrespect or outdated terms I may have used in this post, always deepest apologies if I have)

5 comments

fiona Centre for Youth Literature

Thanks for your review! I was also struck by Nevo's journey to find their place in the Jewish community -- their exploration of intersectionality is really nuanced, generous and eye-opening.

Just a quick note on language, though -- Nevo came out as transgender, not transsexual. Transsexual is an older term that originated in the medical and psychological communities, and is no longer used as an umbrella term by the LGBTQIA community. Would you mind changing your use of the word in the second paragraph? GLAAD (https://www.glaad.org/) is an amazing resource to check out if you're ever unsure about LGBTQIA terms/language.

10th Jan, 19
damnedmonkey

Oh, of course! Apologies for any offence it might've caused anyone. (Just going over it to edit again, I've made some mistakes re: pronouns, specific terms, so thank you again for mentioning that)

11th Jan, 19
fiona Centre for Youth Literature

In reply to damnedmonkey

No worries at all! Thanks for making those changes. The important thing about these discussions is being open and responsive to feedback, well done!

14th Jan, 19
rhapsody

I think how their journey spanded from being very young to where they are now showed how their identity fluctuated over time, finding new labels that they fit with to better understand themself.

11th Jan, 19
damnedmonkey

The journey was really interesting, and the detail around the gender dysphoria made me better understand why so many people feel the urgent need to relabel and seek comfort in their own bodies. So you're absolutely right, that was an excellent area of the book.

11th Jan, 19