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The term “Paralian” comes from ancient Greek origins, meaning “one who lives by the sea”. There could be no more apt title for Liam Klenk’s memoir. In Paralian - Not Just Transgender, he recounts the sweeping and nomadic movements of his life via the lens of the rivers, lakes and oceans by which he periodically makes a home. Water is the element of change and transition. It is also the element at the heart of so many human-nature entanglements; the resource that has always defined and guided the movements of our species. Fittingly for a tale of bodies, travels, challenges, transitions, and wandering, Liam uses bodies of water to parse the sections of his life like chapters in a narrative.
The voice and experience of Liam Klenk is tender, vulnerable, and honest. It comes to the reader unassumingly and asks only for a patient ear. As the title would suggest, Paralian - Not Just Transgender tells a tale far wider in scope than Liam’s courageous journey through gender reassignment. If anything, the story is about the events that occur before, during, and afterwards. Paralian tells the story of a human being finding his place in this world against a lifetime of adversity.
Written with an engaging sense of humour, this incredibly frank memoir challenges common stereotypes and will find readers still thinking about what they have read long after they finish the book.
Paralian has won best debut book at the 2016 Rainbow Awards. It has also been named as “Recommended Read” by several book review platforms including Bookmuse, Bookbag, Reader’s Favorite, etc.