Gender disguises, single-sex societies, transgender stories and role reversals abound in 9 novels that will have you looking anew at our binary world
Offred only has one function: to breed. In this chilling dystopia, women exist purely for utility. But their human desires can't be quelled by the rigid societal structure, and cracks start to appear in the regimented Republic of Gilead as Offred and the other Handmaids start to look to their pasts.
This structurally ingenious novel from the award-winning Ali Smith combines questions of creativity, gender, grief and time with the stories of George and Francesco. The novel’s timeframe is as fluid as its approach to gender and, in some moments, sexuality. Ali Smith pulls off a brilliant trick: complex writing, but a simple joy to read.
One for fans of Margaret Atwood, Woman on the Edge of Time imagines the fragility of a world in which many of the sexual, sociological and gender movements of the sixties have been successful. But the delicate balance of the society of Mattapoisett is only ever one move away from a nightmare...
The Tales of the City series is a fun and vivid depiction of San Francisco's gay community, at the center of which sits 28 Barbary Lane. Every resident at this boarding house will encounter the indomitable Anna Madrigal. She's an unassailable wit, and one of literature's most beloved transgender characters.
A disfigured model befriends a transgender person undergoing gender reassignment as Palahniuk takes us deep into a world of astonishing dishonesty and disloyalty. Invisible Monsters is a deeply uncomfortable read, but a vital one if you want your ideas of indentity ripped apart.