Home > Recommendations > “Kimberley Ann Duray is Not Afraid”, by Leah Bobet

“Kimberley Ann Duray is Not Afraid”, by Leah Bobet

Leah Bobet has written some very atmospheric pieces, including “Furnace Room Lullaby”, that demonstrate to me that she is a very good writer with the potential to get even better.  I did not select this story on the strength of the writing.  In fact, I don’t even think this is the best of her stories from that angle.

No, I picked this one because of the idea, and my reaction to it.  And the fact that nearly a year later, I still think about this story, when hundreds of others–even better ones–have gone by the wayside.

You see, Kimberley Ann works in the Bruce clinic, which is bombed at the start of this story.  You’re supposed to think about abortion clinic bombings, but this isn’t an abortion clinic.  It’s a race-change clinic.  It caters to people who, like those who find themselves in a body of the wrong gender, identify as something inside that they aren’t outside.

I’ve seen people in my life go through changes of religion, gender, sexual orientation, mental health, and legal status.  The simple idea of a process that can move you from one race to another hit me completely without warning.  Is race a social construct?  Does it continue to exist truly because we don’t have any options with regards to it?  As a Caucasian, race is slightly baffling to me–if you ask me to define myself in a limited number of words, the number would get pretty high before “white” was one of the things I listed.  This story made me think about that assumption, and stop taking it for granted.

Text of “Kimberley Ann Duray is Not Afraid”
“Kimberley Ann Duray is Not Afraid” does not appear to have an audio version available.

  1. Llyra
    January 7, 2011 at 10:30 am

    ooo, this was a good one.

    thank you.

  1. February 2, 2011 at 7:17 am

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