Athlete and reality TV star Jenner (Finding the Champion Within) teams up with Bissinger (Friday Night Lights) for a sincere though uneven tell-all autobiography. Jenner jumps back and forth among her childhood, her iconic Olympic decathlon win, and her subsequent fame, while keeping the central focus on her former secret: gender dysphoria and the steps she took to alleviate it, in and out of the public eye. Jenner attempts to explain transgender identification, but despite her candor and vulnerability, a lack of clarity may render her message difficult to grasp; for example, she says she has “always been female” while also describing herself pretransition as “a man who wears a dress.” Though she says she loves her trans community, this isn’t a book for her trans critics, whose attitude she feels is “hostile and exclusionary” (she writes, “we are all in this together, or at least we should be”). Jenner appeals to the reader’s sympathies: self-deprecating humor abounds, and she shares frank, relatable anecdotes about depression and suicidal ideation. Readers will find her insight on O.J. Simpson fascinating (“he was the most narcissistic, egocentric, neediest asshole in the world of sports”), and fans of the Kardashian clan will take an interest in how Jenner describes her marriage to Kris Kardashian (“I am the product and Kris the agent and manager and negotiator”). While she won’t win over her critics, her fans will appreciate this candid look into her life. (Apr.)
"THE SECRETS OF MY LIFE is revelatory for the depth with which Jenner details the staggering challenges of finding her true self, and the repercussions of hiding her gender dysphoria."USA Today
"THE SECRETS OF MY LIFE...charts her journey from Bruce to Caitlyn with affecting candor: decades of distressful dysphoria as an Olympic champion and reality-TV patriarch, and the excruciating, exhilarating odyssey to her renewed identity in the spotlight."Vanity Fair
"Painting a life both shallow and deep, painstakingly choreographed and unscripted, Jenner's candid portrait of a self in the remaking is a marvel to behold."Kirkus
You can't have missed one of the biggest news stories of 2015—Jenner's transition from Bruce to Caitlyn—but here are in-depth details and new information on how Jenner views the world through her new identity. Jenner's coauthor, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Bissinger, wrote the high-profile Vanity Fair piece that introduced Caitlyn Jenner to the world. Embargoed, so don't look for early reviews.
A rugged tale of brute beauty and pyrrhic individualism.When Bruce Jenner took his iconic victory lap around Montreal's Olympic Stadium on July 30, 1976, he invited the world to witness the zenith of his triumphant transformation from talented small-town athlete to Superman-like decathlete for the ages. Fast-forward nearly 40 years, when he found himself nearly powerless on the side of the road, begging TMZ not to publish word of his tracheal shave that would signal to the world, and especially to those dear to him, an even greater physical transformation he was then desperate to conceal. Shuttling between past and recent watershed moments in this intimate tell-all memoir, Jenner now recounts path-breaking strides and missteps on the road from Bruce, who "existed for sixty-five years," to Caitlyn, "just going on her second birthday." With the help of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bissinger, who penned the 2015 Vanity Fair feature accompanying Annie Leibovitz's first portraits of Caitlyn, Jenner explores extraordinary episodes in the years spent attempting to reconcile Bruce's "public figure" with his "private shadow" as he negotiated multiple marriages, children, and various careers, all while wrestling with the self-described gender dysphoria that led him to identify as female as early as age 10. Referring to his years of Olympic training as the "Grand Diversion" from innate gender issues, the author insists, "Bruce was not a lie. Bruce existed: what I did lie about or at least obfuscate was Caitlyn's existence." He describes pivotal moments, such as first wife Chrystie's 1973 discovery of her husband's "gender issues," and he provides insight into the hollow, post-Olympic years spent doing motivational speeches on overcoming the competitor within while sporting "panties and a bra and pantyhose" beneath his business suit. Painting a life both shallow and deep, painstakingly choreographed and unscripted, Jenner's candid portrait of a self in the remaking is a marvel to behold.