Torrey Peters

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Torrey Peters
Peters at the British Library in 2022
Peters at the British Library in 2022
Born1981 (age 41–42)[1]
Alma mater
Notable worksDetransition, Baby

Torrey Peters (born July 1981) is an American author.[2][3] Her debut novel, Detransition, Baby, has received mainstream and critical success.[4][5] The novel was nominated for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Peters was born in Evanston, Illinois.[1] Her father was a professor and her mother was a lawyer.[1]

She grew up in Chicago, later attending Hampshire College.[7] She graduated from the University of Iowa with an MFA and from Dartmouth College with an MA in Comparative Literature.[8][9]


Peters’s first two self-published novellas, The Masker and Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones, were published online in 2016 and reviewed by writer Harron Walker for them.[2] The Masker is about a person contemplating transitioning from male to female.[8] Set in a dystopian future where bioterrorism has destroyed the body's ability to produce sex hormones, Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones follows Patient Zero and her cat-and-mouse relationship with Lexi, a working-class, gun-obsessed trans girl.[10] Glamour Boutique, Peters's third novella, explores a casual Craigslist encounter at a crossdressers’ boutique store.[8] In 2021, it was announced that Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones and The Masker would be reissued by Random House in 2022 and would be published in a collection under the title Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones.[11]

She has written reviews for a breadth of transgender and gender non-conforming authors, such as Janet Mock, Akwaeke Emezi, and Casey Plett, who have published books through Arsenal Pulp Press, Metonymy, and Topside Press.[12]

Detransition, Baby[edit]

Peters' debut novel, Detransition, Baby, published by Penguin Random House Profile Books in 2021, was met with critical success and praise for crafting an exploration of gender, parenthood, and love.[13][14] The main characters are Reese, a trans woman working in PR and former partner of Amy; Amy, who detransitions and becomes Ames; and Katrina, a Chinese Jewish woman who is Ames' boss and pregnant with his child.[15][16]

Detransition, Baby was nominated for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction, making Peters the first openly trans woman nominated for the award.[6] The longlisting of Peters was met with some controversy from those who did not consider her to be a woman. A letter argued that she is "male" and therefore should not be eligible for the prize.[17] Its list of signatories included atheist writer Ophelia Benson and environmentalist Rebecca Lush, but as a rhetorical strategy the letter also included long-dead writers such as Emily Dickinson and Willa Cather.[18] Authors including Melinda Salisbury, Joanne Harris, and Naoise Dolan—another nominee for the 2021 prize—condemned the letter and expressed their support for Peters. The organisers of the prize released a statement condemning the letter and defending the decision to nominate Peters' book.[17][19]

Personal life[edit]

Peters came out as transgender at age 26. At 30, she began taking hormones to physically transition.[1]

In 2009, Peters married Olive Minor. In 2010, the pair lived in Kampala, Uganda while Minor worked on an ethnography of Uganda's only lesbian bar. The strain of suppressing her gender amid Uganda's debate over the 2009 Anti-Homosexuality Bill caused Peters to leave Kampala while Minor completed her research.[20] Peters and Minor divorced in 2015 but remain close friends.[7][21][22][23] As of September 2021, Peters lives in New York with her wife, whom she married that month.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Butter, Susannah (2021-04-07). "Trans writer Torrey Peters: 'I have a lot of empathy for JK Rowling'". Archived from the original on 14 May 2022. Retrieved 2021-06-18.
  2. ^ a b "Torrey Peters | Penguin Random House". Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  3. ^ "Torrey Peters". Retrieved 2021-01-06.
  4. ^ Shapiro, Lila (2021-01-06). "Torrey Peters Goes There". Vulture. Retrieved 2021-01-06.
  5. ^ "Here Are the 10 New Books You Should Read in January". Time. Retrieved 2021-01-06.
  6. ^ a b Zhan, Jennifer (2021-04-07). "Torrey Peters Addresses Transphobic Backlash Over Women's Prize Nomination". Vulture. Retrieved 2021-04-16.
  7. ^ a b "Minor-Peters". Wilmington Star News. Retrieved 2021-05-28.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ a b c Walker, Harron (8 March 2018). "Trans Author Torrey Peters Wants to Air Our Dirty Laundry". them. Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  9. ^ "The Best of Brevity: Zoe Bossiere and Dinty W. Moore with Contributors (VIRTUAL EVENT) | McNally Jackson Books". 16 October 2020. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  10. ^ "(Trans) Love and Other Scars: An Interview with Torrey Peters, Author of Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones". Autostraddle. 2017-02-20. Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  11. ^ "Four Torrey Peters novellas will be published by Random House in 2022". Literary Hub. 2021-07-28. Retrieved 2022-05-09.
  12. ^ Peters, Torrey (2020-11-19). "12 of the Best Books by Trans Authors, According to Torrey Peters". Oprah Magazine. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  13. ^ Epstein, Rachel (2020-11-16). "Pre-Order These Highly-Anticipated 2021 Book Releases". Marie Claire. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  14. ^ Berlatsky, Noah (2021-01-06). "Review: A social comedy on 'detransitioning' asks: Who is anyone to judge?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2021-01-06.
  15. ^ "Alma's Favorite Books for Winter 2021". Alma. 2020-11-24. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  16. ^ "Serpent's Tail to publish 'uniquely trans take on love and parenting' by Torrey Peters | The Bookseller". Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  17. ^ a b "Women's prize condemns online attack on trans nominee Torrey Peters". the Guardian. 2021-04-07. Retrieved 2021-06-18.
  18. ^ "Open letter to the Women's Prize". Wild Woman Writing Club. 2021-04-06. Retrieved 2021-06-18.
  19. ^ "Women's Prize stands by its nomination of trans author Torrey Peters after open letter". Los Angeles Times. 2021-04-07. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
  20. ^ Peters, Torrey (4 January 2022). "Over Fried Fish, I Said Goodbye to My Wife—And to a Version of Myself". Condé Nast. Bon Appetit. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  21. ^ "Minor-Peters". Wilmington Star News. Retrieved 2021-05-28.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "WILMER COGGINS Obituary (2012) - Gainesville, FL - Gainesville Sun". Retrieved 2021-05-28.
  23. ^ Peters, Torrey (2021-01-12). Detransition, Baby. Random House Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-593-13339-2.