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About the book
  • Published: 15 May 2009
  • ISBN: 9780099507734
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $22.99

Becoming Drusilla

One Life, Two Friends, Three Genders


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Funny, brilliant, original: the story of a friendship between two men and what happened when one of them announced he was becoming a woman.

For years Richard Beard would take spontaneous holidays with his motor-cycling friend Drew. They would spend a few days walking, camping, cycling, canoeing – outdoor, manly fun – before returning to everyday life: wives, children, jobs. Richard was writing novels. Drew was working in the engine-room of cross-channel passenger ferries. Then one year Drew phoned to announce a complication: he was planning to have a sex change.

This is the story of how Drew became Dru, of a friendship, of a fortnight’s walking holiday after Dru’s operation. And of how what we think we know about ourselves, our friends, and our families can turn out to be very, very wide of the mark. It’s about secrets and preconceptions and confronting prejudices you didn’t know you had.

Becoming Drusilla is by turns warm, sad, funny but always human; it holds up a mirror to the extraordinary in outwardly ordinary lives.

  • Pub date: 15 May 2009
  • ISBN: 9780099507734
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $22.99

About the Author

Richard Beard

Richard Beard is the author of Acts of the Assassins which was shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize and most recently, The Day That Went Missing. In the twenty years since his first book he has published critically acclaimed novels and narrative non-fiction, including Becoming Drusilla, the story of how a friendship between two men was changed by a gender transition. He was formerly director of the National Academy of Writing in London, and is now a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo and has a Creative Writing Fellowship at the University of East Anglia. He is an optimistic opening batsman for the Authors Cricket Club.

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Praise for Becoming Drusilla

“A gentle, wise and touching book, full of warmth, humour, friendship and humanity”

Literary Review

“A brave and intelligent book”

Daily Telegraph

“This very personal story of how the friendship between two men had to be completely re-evaluated when one of them had a sex change is written in an honest and deeply thoughtful way and is totally devoid of any sensationalism or prurience”

reFresh magazine

“A wonderfully sympathetic account of how and, possibly, why Drew became Dru”

Daily Mail


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