Finnish / Finland

Poika
(Boy)

Björk, Marja (text)
Helsinki: Like, 2013. – 215 p.
ISBN 978-952-01-0898-4

Transsexuality | Search for identity | Family

What does it feel like to be born in the wrong body? As far back as Marion can remember, she has wished for nothing more fervently than to be a boy. Her relationship with her mother is problematic for this reason, though it improves over the course of the novel. The story gains credibility as it is narrated from Marion’s perspective in a youthful slang tone. Readers learn of Marion’s life and her troubled path – from her earliest childhood to the point when, as an adult, she physically becomes a ≫real≪ man through a sex change operation. Despite the conviction that she could have made it further in life had she been born in the right body, Marion ends up gaining something valuable in the struggle: she emerges victorious in her story.

The novel teaches readers to be brave and stand by their identities. Personal experiences with her transsexual son inspired Marja Bjork to write this book, and it was met with great interest in Finland, including a nomination for the Finlandia Junior Prize in 2013. (Age: 14+)