> Skip to content
Read an extract
Play sample
  • Published: 5 July 2022
  • ISBN: 9781761045028
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • RRP: $34.99

The All of It

A Bogan Rhapsody

The unforgettable memoir that redefines 'she'll be right'.

‘Cadance Bell is a once-in-a-lifetime blazing talent.’ – Benjamin Law

What’s it like to grow up in an Aussie family that has a man of every flavour? A bank robber, an infamous sports umpire, several different breeds of drug addict (collect the whole set!), a roster of crafty swindlers, an attempted murderer and the local town drunk. And what if you had a secret so ghastly that you feared it made you more disgraceful than all of your roguish ancestors combined?

Seven years ago, Ben was a millennial with a death wish. He was loveless, overweight, crashing in his parents’ rumpus room and blinking his life away in a haze of marijuana vape. Then one day Ben decided to change everything – starting with the Ben bit. Becoming Cadance was more than a gender transition: it was a transition in every way, fear to acceptance, from self-loathing to love, anger to kindness. She was determined to experience the all of it.

Written with dazzling creativity and exuberance, The All of It is a wild coming-of-gender memoir like no other. Tender, tragic, hilarious and life-affirming, it will leave you understanding a little more about trans people, rural Australia, family, millennials and the beautiful contradictions of our kaleidoscopic world.

‘Laugh-out-loud funny and often moving . . . Bell is witty and candid, and I suspect we’ll read a lot more from her.’ - The Guardian

‘Truly the book all of Australia needs.’ - Star Observer

‘This is a beautiful, generous gift to the world . . . I can't even begin to say how much I loved this memoir.’ - Haley Scrivenor, bestselling author of Dirt Town

  • Published: 5 July 2022
  • ISBN: 9781761045028
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • RRP: $34.99

About the author

Cadance Bell

Cadance ‘Cady’ Bell is an Australian storyteller whose writing has appeared in publications including the Guardian and the popular queer blogs Rainbow Roo and I Miss Pockets.

She has written, produced and directed dozens of award-winning short films, music videos and TV commercials. Her documentary films include The Rainbow Passage for Network 10 and Screen Australia, and Who I Am, the world’s first documentary exploring the intersection of gender diversity and neurodivergence.

She has performed at events such as Queerstories and the Antidote Festival at the Sydney Opera House. In 2020 she shared a virtual stage with Dr Anthony Fauci and Bill Gates with the Poplabs Social Impact Incubator, with her mission to ‘unmake prejudice’ by encouraging audiences to know LGTBQIA+ stories.

Cady is a co-founder of Rainbow Day, which celebrates its twentieth year in 2022, having raised almost $1 million for charitable causes. And she is the founder of Threeki, which seeks to promote mindful kindness.

She is currently working on a science-fiction novel: Letters to Our Robot Son.

Cadance lives in New South Wales with her fiancée Amanda. She likes Pokémon Go and short walks to the fridge. She is openly transgender and freaking loves burritos.


Praise for The All of It

Cadance Bell is the human equivalent of Halley’s comet: a once-in-a-lifetime blazing talent.

Benjamin Law

Our lives are multiple, our stories of ourselves never-ending, and yet when it comes to being a transgender person, there is this idea that we have one sole identity: trans. In The All of It: A bogan rhapsody, Cadance Bell gives us multitudes; she’s not just a 30-something transwoman, she’s a true bogan Australian, raised on coal mines, Catholic guilt and greasy chips. Bell has an incredibly easy and visceral way of writing; it’s blunt and evocative but also satisfying and transportive, her descriptions of childhood oozing with vivid and haunting imagery. There is always humour interwoven with the bleak, grotesque and painful, and that style of punching through trauma with self-deprecating jokes is such a familiar and relatable part of the queer experience. This memoir is raw, vulnerable, authentic and full of heart. Bell doesn’t falter in her honesty, describing guilty wet dreams, stealing her mother’s bras, furtively buying teen girl magazines, and secretly dressing in femme clothing while tripping on LSD. Bell beautifully paints the anguish of a budding transwoman tormented by gender dysphoria, self-loathing and shame, finally blossoming into the gender euphoria that is to exist authentically as herself. Both tragic and uplifting, The All of It provides readers with a small insight into one bogan Australian’s trans experience, for fellow adult trans people and allies alike.

George Banach-Salas, Books and Publishing

Growing up in Mudgee, NSW, Bell knew from a young age that she was transgender, but didn’t find the language that captured her identity until adulthood. Her laugh-out-loud funny and often moving memoir recalls a lively country town childhood, navigating restrictive gender norms and getting through puberty while surreptitiously trying on her mum’s bras and buying Dolly magazine in Bi-Lo. In her 20s she survived depression and dysphoria, before discovering trans communities online, finding both happiness and love. Bell is witty and candid, and I suspect we’ll read a lot more from her. If you loved Patricia Lockwood’s Priestdaddy, you’ll love this too.

Sian Cain, The Guardian

Truly the book all of Australia needs to read in 2022.

Star Observer

This is a beautiful, generous gift to the world . . . I can't even begin to say how much I loved this memoir.

Haley Scrivenor, bestselling author of Dirt Town

Madcap and bruised and bruising and gorgeous! And fuking funny! A perfect book.

Beejay Silcox

Described as “a wild coming-of-gender memoir like no other”, The All of It captures Cadance Bell’s journey throughout many stages and moments of her life. The memoir tackles key themes such as growing up in Mudgee in the 1990’s, family dynamics, experiences with addiction, violence, gender dysphoria, kindness, and acceptance. Bell’s memoir is truly an experience. She manages to take the reader on a dual journey: hers, and their own. It was confronting, tragic, humorous, captivating, and hopeful all at the same time. A feat which is not always achievable, and is a huge testament to Bell’s storytelling ability. As a speed reader, I had to tell myself to read this book slowly in order to properly experience it, and I am very glad that I did so. The All of It is one of those rare books that must be consumed slowly in order to both understand and appreciate what is occurring throughout its pages. It is a book for everyone, whether they are going through a similar journey, or experience, as Cadance or not. It emphasises that we should be kind to others, as we really do not know what others are going through. There are so many elements within the book that the reader might relate to no matter their beliefs, identities, or feelings. Cadance’s story is life changing: not only for her, but also for the reader. It truly is one of those books that will allow every person who reads it to be able to take something away from it. All-in-all, The All of It: A Bogan Rhapsody is an unmissable read, and I am telling, not recommending, telling you to read this book. I promise you will not regret it.

Phoebe Barsi, Opus Magazine

A boisterous, rollicking, laugh out loud ride through working class Australia. Cadance Bell has a magic gift for capturing personalities in their true vernacular. Her dialogue leaps off the page and shakes you about. The portraits of her knock-about parents – her mother, a tough-as-nails nurse who's seen it all and her father, a mine worker – are unforgettable. The various snapshots of growing up in rural Australia resonate as unmistakably authentic. This may be a trans memoir, but readers will see themselves and their family in its pithy descriptions of Australian life. Ultimately, The All of It is a funny, big-hearted memoir of growing up Australian, one that also deftly explains the pain and mental anguish of feeling you don't belong in your body. An absolute winner.

Chris Saliba, North Melbourne Books

Cadance Bell is the most joyful human being; a masterful and crafted and gifted storyteller.

Gill Hicks AM MBE

An incredible book . . . A game changer for regional queer people.

Kia Handley

Awards & recognition

The Age Book of the Year Award

Shortlisted  •  2023  •  The Age Book of the Year Award: Non-Fiction

Discover more

Your guide to the books and authors on this weekend's RN Big Weekend of Books

Tune into Radio National on Saturday 17 June and Sunday 18 June.

Memoir Madness: 5 memoirs to dig into this month

See some of the best books – old and new – that recount the real lives of influential people.

Author shares the single most important takeaway from new book

We talked to Cadance Bell to learn all about her new book, The All of It.