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A Year Without a Name: A Memoir (Paperback)

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From "an extraordinary new voice," a "passionate and clear-eyed and unputdownable" meditation on queerness, family, and desire. (Mary Karr)

For as long as they can remember, Cyrus Grace Dunham felt like a visitor in their own body. Their life was a series of imitations--lovable little girl, daughter, sister, young gay woman--until their profound sense of alienation became intolerable.

Moving between Grace and Cyrus, Dunham brings us inside the chrysalis of gender transition, asking us to bear witness to an uncertain and exhilarating process that troubles our most basic assumptions about who we are and how we are constituted. Written with disarming emotional intensity in a voice uniquely theirs, A Year Without a Name is a potent, thrillingly unresolved queer coming of age story.

Named one of Fall 2019's Most Anticipated Books by:
O Magazine
Harper's Bazaar

About the Author

Cyrus Grace Dunham is a writer and organizer living in Los Angeles. This is their first book.

Praise For…

"Cyrus Grace Dunham is such a tender, open, and
nuanced writer, and his book allows itself to be messy and complicated in the
name of unflinching honesty. A stunning account of both longing and belonging, A Year Without a Name made every corner
of my heart sing."—Hanif Abdurraqib, New York Times bestselling author of THEY CAN'T KILL US UNTIL THEY KILL US and GO AHEAD IN THE RAIN

"Cyrus Grace
Dunham has written a classic memoir-passionate and clear eyed and
unputdownable. I've never seen a gender journey rendered in more tender,
riveting detail. Bravo to this
extraordinary new voice."—Mary Karr, author of THE LIARS' CLUB, CHERRY, LIT, and THE ART OF MEMOIR

"Cyrus's book is raw, beautiful and
uncompromisingly honest: a slippery, vital account of gender, family and the
longing to be real. I read it with my heart in my mouth."—Olivia Laing, author of THE LONELY CITY and CRUDO

"A work of
extraordinarily intimate confession rendered in startling, sparkling -- and
addictive -- prose. With
erudition, frankness, and eloquence, Dunham braids a propulsive narrative
momentum together with exquisite particulars of daily life. This book,
simply put, summons a private and deeply pleasurable exchange with its
reader. In the grand tradition, it keeps us company."—Jordy Rosenberg, author of CONFESSIONS OF THE FOX

"A Year Without a Name is
staggering, intimate, and astonishing; you can't help but be awed by the end of
it. I'm grateful for the journey this memoir took me on, for what Dunham illuminates
about loving ourselves and others."—Bryan Washington, author of LOT

Grace Dunham's memoir is unflinching. His unsettlement about gender is
profound, his writing about it genuine and affecting. A Year Without a Name let me travel with Dunham on his difficult,
sometimes treacherous, sometimes beautiful, always memorable path."—Lynne Tillman, author of MEN AND APPARITIONS

"Dunham's deeply felt, forthright, lucid accounting
of the complex process of determining who they are is astonishing in its
intimacy and generosity, and serves as a reminder of how difficult, but how necessary,
it is to be honest with ourselves about who we know ourselves to be."
Kristen Iversen, NYLON

"An honest, reflective reckoning well worth reading."—Tomi Obaro, BUZZFEED

"'Devotion is the closest thing I've known to a stable gender,' Dunham
writes in this deeply intimate memoir. Lucid, unvarnished prose makes the book
compulsively readable even as it wrestles with the weightiness of transition
and identity."—O MAGAZINE

"Raw and powerful."—VOGUE

"It's a quick
read, but punchy--nearly every sentence is sharp, full of importance, at once
deeply intellectual and ethereal. Dunham navigates how confusing gender is: how
useless it can be while also existing as an essential facet of identity. Dunham
stays true to their unfinished story by packing a lot of meaning into just 176
pages but never reaching concrete conclusions. But the concrete would be
antithetical to the story; Dunham lives in the truth that all of us are
unfinished, forever growing and learning. This in itself is a very queer frame
of thought."—REWIRE

"Shifting between identifying as Grace
and Cyrus, Dunham gives readers an honest look at gender transition,
solidifying their fresh voice in a crucial national conversation about gender
and identity."—TIME

"A profoundly honest memoir written
in succinct language that often has the power of a punch and resists tying up
tricky situations in a neat bow."—ELLE

"Not all memoirists reckon with themselves as
severely and provocatively as Dunham does, particularly when it comes to the
weight, responsibility, and, at times, unwanted consequences of a name...A
Year Without a Name
teaches us that gender identity and names are not
as static as we might have thought. In fact, both are more like the process of
self-discovery - slippery, complicated, ongoing."—BUSTLE

"An anti-memoir, set against the idea that Cyrus, or you, or I,
must believe one consistent story about our life...For Dunham, exploring gender
and sex means exploring embodiment and uncertainty. They live in-and have
sexual feelings within-a body that won't settle down, that does not seem to
want to take clear form. It's a body, Dunham discovers, that needs to be valued
as a kind of chrysalis."—THE ATLANTIC

Grace Dunham has written a complicated, necessary addition to the trans
literary canon. Readers get to know Cryus as Dunham gets
to know Cyrus, and the memoir makes clear that one's journey to figuring out
their gender is a messy, life-long process."—ADVOCATE

"In a scant 176 pages, Dunham pens a surprisingly
wide existential exploration of what it means to be human; an honest, beautiful
memoir that isn't afraid to live in the unknown."—Sarah Neilson, LitHub

"His writing about family and notoriety is the richest and most
perversely fascinating in the book, because it makes you feel queasy for
finding it so magnetic. Fame is addressed with the same conflict and emotion
that Cyrus devotes to his queerness and gender transition."—THE CUT

"Candid and compassionate, this book
offers a view of one person's trans experience that defies categorization as
much as it defies resolution. Elegant, eloquent, and deeply personal."—KIRKUS REVIEWS

"Cyrus Grace Dunham is a mess, and they aren't trying to hide
it. In their new memoir, the writer and activist complicates accepted
narratives about transgender folks - ones that are steeped in binary,
essentialist notions about gender identity. Dunham isn't afraid to share their
uncertainty about the source of their discontent with identity, whether it's
more social, more physical, or a combination of both."—OUT MAGAZINE

Product Details
ISBN: 9780316444972
ISBN-10: 0316444979
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Publication Date: October 20th, 2020
Pages: 176