Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.
Through the Door of Life:... has been added to your Cart
+ CDN$ 6.49 shipping
Used: Acceptable | Details
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Visibly worn from excessive use but readable copy. May be an ex-library copy and may not include CD and/or Accessories.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey between Genders Hardcover – Mar 15 2012

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
CDN$ 35.38
CDN$ 35.38 CDN$ 4.82

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • You'll save an extra 5% on Books purchased from Amazon.ca, now through July 29th. No code necessary, discount applied at checkout. Here's how (restrictions apply)

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 270 pages
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press; 1 edition (March 15 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0299287300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0299287306
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.8 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 440 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #802,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


“Ladin’s story is a deep, beautifully written exploration of her journey from being a man to becoming a woman.”—Lucy Bledsoe, author of The Big Bang Symphony, Ferro-Grumley Award finalist for LGBT fiction

“Joy Ladin’s book succeeds so well because it is anything but a trans tract; it is a fierce story of regular old human life: hideous choices, endless repercussions, occasional glory, frequent humiliation, abiding difficulty. It could have happened to us. She makes us believe it.”—Kay Ryan, former poet laureate of the United States, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry

"Not only a memoir of transgender experience, it's also a story of family heartbeak and family love; of growth as a teacher and writer; and, not least, of a self deeply connected to God and Judiasm throughout a life lived across genders."—Rabbi Jill Hammer, author of The Jewish Book of Days and director of spiritual education at the Academy for Jewish Religion

“Readers will be rewarded not only with an expanded understanding of a complicated choice but also a compelling and moving story of a person transitioning, not only from male to female but from a numb, suicidal 'nonexistence' to opening the 'door of life.' ”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Moving from living in misery to being joyful and grateful provided a profound, fundamental release from what she saw as a moral quandary. It’s the kind of resolve that makes her work reverberate with emotion, and her artful, thoughtful writing creates an even deeper resonance. . . . A cohesive, powerful memoir.”—ForeWord

“Joy Ladin’s Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders is a life-affirming and generous work—and one of the most compelling memoirs of recent years. . . . [S]he writes with beautiful clarity, humility and breathtaking candor.”—Jewish Woman Magazine

“No doubt about it, change was going to hurt. It would require, if not tears, then a kind of ripping of your soul, a new way of life, an alteration of outlook. . . . For author Joy Ladin, pain was exactly the reason for change. Pain had accompanied her for most of her days, but in her new book Through the Door of Life, she explains a journey that was, for her, long overdue.”—LGBT Weekly

“In painstakingly and painfully constructing her new self, Ladin is fully aware of the societal conventions and privileges of which she makes use. . . . But there seems to be a poignancy, of which Ladin is exquisitely aware, that precisely because what Ladin wants is so normal, her efforts to obtain it are so fraught with pain.”—Lambda Literary

About the Author

Joy Ladin, David and Ruth Gottesman Professor of English at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University, is the first openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution. She is the author of five books of poetry, including, most recently, Psalms and Coming to Life.

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on Amazon.ca
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa61c0f00) out of 5 stars 34 reviews
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ff93c3c) out of 5 stars Powerful story of starting over as what you were meant to be. March 28 2012
By Bob Lind - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
After teaching literature for many years at Yeshiva University, Jay Ladin became an instant gender activist, when she returned to the Orthodox Jewish campus as its first transgender employee, now Joy Ladin. Behind the headlines and talk show commentaries, Joy takes her readers into a touching, emotional memoir of her journey to and beyond that point, dealing with not just with her personal and family transformation, but reconciling this to her religion as well. She mourns the "death" of the man she once was, father to three children and husband to a woman who can't help but be bitter about Joy's "choices" in life.

The book takes the reader through her emotional, physical and social aspects of becoming a woman, the occasional roller-coaster effect of taking hormones, trying to maintain a realistic link (often dressed as the man she no longer considers herself to be) with her children, and battling the loneliness resulting from trying to carve out a new life with people who can somewhat understand and accept her. It's a powerful, well-written story, and recommended reading. Five stars out of five.

- Bob Lind, Echo Magazine
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ff93c90) out of 5 stars buy this book Jan. 28 2013
By glinda - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully written and deeply moving account of one person's transition from male to female. I have never read an account that illuminates the inner world of gender dysphoria so clearly. i am a psychologist whose caseload includes families with these issues, and I will use this book to help my community understand better not only the transpeople we encounter, but to help us better understand the gender continuum and our own humanity. Thank you, Joy.
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ff93f6c) out of 5 stars Heavy going. Feb. 9 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"Sex Changes: A memoir of marriage, Gender, and moving on" is a better read and is really a good companion to this book. Not that Joy's book is bad it's just very personal and not really that interesting. The other book is written by her 'ex' and is a much more interesting read altogether. Read them both. Then you'll get the full picture.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ff93e64) out of 5 stars Her ability to stay focused on Love, which flowed from her relationship with God May 18 2015
By Mar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book helped raise my consciousness about the challenges of the trans-community. Joy's courage to suffer enormous pain so that she could grow into who she is created to be as a human being inspires me. Her ability to stay focused on Love, which flowed from her relationship with God, is what saves her as she continues to suffer pain and challenge. For me, personally, the book gave me the opportunity to reflect on my own judgement(s) of the trans-community, and more importantly, trans-individuals. My level of compassion has increased as has my desire for deeper understanding.
13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0ce206c) out of 5 stars Powerfully written March 19 2012
By Samuel Rafael - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have not read such a powerful and well-written memoir in many years. Providing the best first-hand description of the agony of gender dysphoria I've read since Jennifer Boylan's "She's Not There," I'm confident that this work will stand as the definitive non-text book offering on this subject. The author vividly describes what it is like for people like herself who venture into a "no-man's land" of femininity that was forbidden to her. Her insights about family, work and everyday life are profound and spot-on. She offers an honest, sometimes agonizing and always poignant look at her own gender transition and the impact it has had on herself, her loved ones and others in her life. In so doing she has some amazingly deep things to express that resonate with the struggle of all transgender individuals, transitioned or not.