Lucy Sante’s “I Heard Her Call My Name: A Memoir of Transition”

By LARB Radio HourFebruary 16, 2024

Lucy Sante’s “I Heard Her Call My Name: A Memoir of Transition”
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Kate Wolf speaks to cultural critic and historian Lucy Sante about her latest book, I Heard Her Call My Name: A Memoir of Transition. It is the story of how, after living as Luc for almost the entirety of her life, three years ago, she became Lucy. The book begins with the letter she sent her closest friends with the bombshell” confession that the image of herself as a woman had been “the consuming furnace at the center” of her life, but that she had repressed it with almost equal force. Sante goes on to reflect back on that life, from her time growing up in Belgium as the only child of emotionally distant working-class parents, to her adolescence as an immigrant in suburban New Jersey, and finally her nascent adult years as a punk and budding writer in a pre-corporatized New York City. Intercutting this past with the practical steps and transcendent emotions that accompany her first few months of transitioning, Sante explores the ways she contorted herself to fit into her male identity and the great unhappiness it caused, as well as the path to finally unburdening herself of her secret and emerging as Lucy.

Also, Nathan Thrall, author of A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy, returns to recommend Rian Malan’s My Traitors Heart: A South African Exile Returns to Face His Country, His Tribe, and His Conscience.

LARB Contributor

The LARB Radio Hour is hosted by Eric Newman, Medaya Ocher, and Kate Wolf.


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