Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-01-17
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

BOOK REVIEW Surpassing Certainty By Janet Mock
by Terri Schlichenmeyer
2017-12-13

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


$24.99; Atria; 228 pages

When you were 20, you wanted only to impress.

If people looked at you, wasn't that good? You wanted to be seen, watched, adored by those you saw as desirable. But what, exactly, did you want people to notice? Was it your hair, your body or, as in Surpassing Certainty, by Janet Mock, was the whole you on display?

At age 19, Mock should never have been where she was for three nights a week.

Her schedule was meant for women older than 21, which was the legal age for dancing as a stripper in a Waikiki clubs, but the proprietress of the club jokingly offered to "give" Mock two of her own birthdays, and that was that: Mock was a dancer, albeit a self-conscious one.

She was afraid that someone could spot her secret from the bar rail.

At a very young age, Mock knew she was in the wrong body. Her mother looked the other way while Mock wore feminine clothing and grew out her hair, and she ignored when Mock started taking female hormones as an adolescent. After saving every penny, Mock flew to Bangkok to finalize her transition at 18; months later, she realized that nobody saw her as anything but a pretty Black woman.

But the club, well, money was good there and she settled in there. She sometimes made a cool grand a week, and she didn't have to sleep with customers; the club's owner, in fact, urged her girls not to do so. "Love can wait," she'd said, but when Mock met the man she'd ultimately marry, there was no reason not to take the plunge.

He was a Navy man who took Mock's truth in stride, but the two grew apart: Mock quit dancing before she quit the marriage to move to New York City to attend college, where she felt empowered as a woman in control of her life. She made friends, decided what she wanted to do with her life, landed the job of her dreams and, "I was home."

Filled with florid prose and swoony drama, Surpassing Certainty is one of those memoirs that feels like a long conversation.

That can be a good thing, and it can be bad.

In speaking directly to readers, author Mock offers an aura of girlfriendship. We're privy to many details—maybe even too many—and the information is meted out as if we're all Sex in the City in a bistro somewhere on a Sunday afternoon.

And yet, this conversation doesn't seem to have a point. Mock writes at great length about stripping. She tells about her many loves, fusses too much about her appearance and shares thoughts about men that reflect her youth at the time. Except for a juicy admission of omission in her last book, this seemed like a lot of navel-gazing.

Heavy sigh.

If you read Mock's first memoir and are eager for more, by all means, find this one because you'll love it. For most readers, though, Surpassing Certainty may not completely impress.

Want more? Then look for Redefining Realness, by Janet Mock; or I Am Jazz, by Jazz Jennings.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Norman Sandfield to speak on book "Awa Tsireh: Pueblo Painter & Metalsmith" 2018-01-19 - Norman L. Sandfield will speak on his new book, Awa Tsireh: Pueblo Painter & Metalsmith at the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian ...


Gay News

Black Lives Matter co-founder Cullors in Chicago Jan. 23 2018-01-15 - Patrisse Khan-Cullors brings her book tour to Chicago Tuesday, Jan. 23, 7 p.m., at the Wilson Abbey, 935 W. Wilson, Chicago, hosted with ...


Gay News

Public Newsroom Workshop to share findings on Chicagoans' media perceptions 2018-01-10 - Chicago, IL — In one of the few scientific studies that measures how people in Chicago feel about news media coverage of their ...


Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Tell: Love, Defiance, and the Military... 2018-01-10 - By Major Margaret Witt with Tim Connor, foreword by Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer $27.95; ForeEdge; 258 pages No doubt about it: You ...


Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Seven Suspects 2018-01-03 - By Renee James. $26.95; Oceanview Publishing; 310 pages The world of fiction is filled with voices. It's a realm of stories ...


Gay News

Sessions to put trans stories in spotlight 2018-01-03 - Just for transgender participants, "Stories in the Spotlight" lets people transform important moments into stories that professional actors will perform onstage. Playwright ...


Gay News

BOOKS Best readings of 2017 2018-01-02 - Trust me on this: When you read more than 300 books a year, you come across some books that are not-so-good. Thankfully, ...


Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Conversations with Edmund White 2017-12-20 - Edited by Will Brantley and Nancy McGuire Roche $25; University Press of Mississippi; 208 pages Edmund White was one of the ...


Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Tarantella 2017-12-20 - By Scot T. O'Hara $18.95; OhBoy Books; 310 pages Anthony's life is falling apart. He escaped Florida and his half-Irish, half-Italian, ...


Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Hunger by Roxane Gay 2017-12-13 - $25.99, Harper, 306 pages Roxane Gay's Hunger is one of the most plainspoken books about trauma ever written. Up until this ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.