One of the favorite authors of the editors at Reluctant Press is E.B. Stevenson. The author has written five collections of short stories under the “Stevenson’s Stories” banner, primarily about transsexual women who fall in love with (and sometimes marry) men who love them as the women they have become.
In addition, Stevenson has written several full-length novels with a similar premise written into the story lines, such as “A Bust on the Way to the Altar”, “Photographer’s Delight”, “A Family History”, “The Transformation and Love of Erica” and “The Transition and Courtship of Stephanie”. Stevenson’s latest collection, “Stevenson’s Stories VI”, while there are elements of the previous collections present, deals with a different theme: transitioning from male to female during the teen years.
The first story in this collection is “Becoming Anna”. This story begins in 1995, where Eric Bruner is a 33-year-old Chicago bachelor who suddenly finds himself saddled with the responsibility of raising four children after his sister, Heather, and her husband, Mark Richards, are killed in a traffic accident. One of the children he is responsible for is Anthony, who has a deep secret. Marcia, the oldest of the four children, tells her uncle that Anthony is dressing in her clothes. It would take four years before Anthony finally tells his uncle, his twin brother Eric, big sister Marcia, and kid brother Michael, that he wants to become Anna, the girl he feels he should be. Annie, the young Thai woman Eric hired as the governess for the children, explains gender identity disorder to the family. Anna is sent to a school that caters to transgender and troubled girls to transition during seventh and eighth grade, leading to her sex-change operation at the age of 14. After her operation, Anna becomes interested in the world of fashion. She learns how to design fashions for girls and women while in her high school years, and becomes a model after graduation from high school, while going through fashion design school. When the story wraps up in 2010, Eric, married to one of Anna’s teachers and raising a set of quadruplets, attends the
“Karen’s Road to Her Special Day” is the second story in this collection. Told by her father, Dick Colter, the story begins with Karen Colter preparing to walk down the aisle to marry her longtime boyfriend, Eric Binder. Her father has a flashback to the time when Karen was a boy named Kevin. At the age of 12, Kevin tells Dick and his mother, Rachel, that he wants to become a girl. With a change of name to Karen, she begins her new life as a girl. While she is transitioning, she is taught at home. She has her sex-change operation after she finishes her eighth grade work, and begins high school as a complete girl. Her older brother, Rich, tells her about Eric, a transplant from a small town who is not too well-liked by the girls in high school. Coincidentally, Eric is in one of Karen’s classes. The two meet up after that particular class; before the end of the day, Eric asks Karen out on a date. On that date, she gets her first kiss as a girl. When Eric asks her to be his girlfriend, she tells him about her sex change. The only thing that matters to him is that he has fallen for the girl she has become. The courtship endures high school and college; Eric opens a restaurant with three of his friends, while Karen buys an interest in her mother’s bridal shop. When they establish themselves in their careers, Eric asks her to be his bride. The story returns to the day of Karen and Eric’s wedding toward the end, when Dick walks her down the aisle. When the story wraps up, Dick and Rachel remembers that being a bride had been Karen’s dream since before she became a girl; they are grateful that Karen’s dream had come true.
The third story, “Alyson’s Special Prom Night”, is another flashback, this one told by Eric Braner. His son, Adam, is the best of friends with Allen Jones, who has a deep secret. When Adam returns from Boy Scout camp, the first person he sees is Allen, but he looks a lot different. When he finds Allen dressed as a girl, he explains that he wants to become a girl. Adam is the first one to call him by the female name he has chosen: Alyson. She is sent to a school in
The fourth and final story is “Best Friends to Husband and Wife.” Set in the
People are transitioning at younger ages these days. While these stories are works of fiction, they are based on reality. While all of Stevenson’s novels and collections are perfect for the romantic in us, “Stevenson’s Stories VI” is also for those who dream of career success. I highly recommend reading this book, as well as all of the other works by E.B. Stevenson.
The book is available on Reluctant Press, release #775, categorized as "New Woman"