I Heard Her Call My Name

I Heard Her Call My Name by Lucy Sante is a memoir about a writer’s gender-affirming transition at the age of 66. The book is a kind of dual biography, describing her process of transitioning and also chronicling the story of “Luc”, the persona that Sante lived in for much of her life. Sante recounts the gender dysphoria she experience from her early life as the child of conservative Belgian parents to her years living amongst the thrilling artistic scene of the 1970s in New York City. Here, Lucy befriended other creative souls whose names are indelibly linked with that time and place: artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, and writer Elizabeth Hardwick, among others. Yet, even in the midst of an artistic awakening among her peers and an introduction to the rich queer scene in the city, Lucy still felt that she couldn’t embrace her true identity then. She writes movingly about finally coming to terms with and expressing what she describes as  “the consuming furnace at the center of my life.”