Tuesday 20 April 2021

Book Review: As Beautiful As Any Other by Kaya Wilson (Memoir)

Title: As Beautiful As Any Other
Author: Kaya Wilson
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Publication Date: 27 April 2021
Genre: Memoir
Source: ARC from Publisher

When Kaya Wilson came out to his parents as transgender, a year after a near-death surfing accident and just weeks before his father's death, he was met with a startling family history of concealed queerness and shame.

This is a trans story.

As Beautiful As Any Other weaves this legacy together with intimate examinations of the forces that have shaped Wilson's life, and his body: vulnerability and power, grief and trauma, science and narrative.

This is also my story.

In this powerful and lyrical memoir, Wilson makes a case for the strength we find when we confront the complexities of our identity with compassion. As Beautiful As Any Other is a trailblazing debut of remarkable beauty, insight and candour.


I am usually not a big reader of memoirs and autobiographies, but this one sounded so interesting when I saw it available for review request that I decided to give it a try. In then end, I found As Beautiful As Any Other to be a compelling read that explored a number of themes from transitioning to grief, all through Wilson's personal experiences. He moved between countries a lot as a child, and I found those snippets of information, regarding his memories from different places, especially interesting, along with his contemplation about the changes in the way people communicated with and treated him pre- and post-transition. If you wish to learn more about the problems faced by the trans community from the lips of one of its members, this book is one I am sure you will find of interest. LGBT content aside, it is also simply an engaging tale of someone overcoming difficulties and trauma, which is inspiring in and of itself. It was a four-star read for me.

I received this book as a free ARC from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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