Oct 17 2022
Communities Read Were I Not Girl: A Virtual Author & Illustrator Talk

Communities Read Were I Not Girl: A Virtual Author & Illustrator Talk

Presented by Community Libraries of Providence at Mount Pleasant Library

About this event
Join us virtually on Monday, October 17th at 6pm to meet the author and illustrator of Were I Not a Girl: The Inspiring and True Story of Dr. James Barry. This unique picture book biography tells the story of Dr. James Barry, born female, who lived as a man from age 18 to his death. It is both a fascinating and sensitively drawn portrait of someone who would not be undervalued, and an important introduction to the concept of gender identity. The book is available through our library catalog.

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Lisa Robinson is a child psychiatrist and children’s book author who lives in the Boston area. She works as a therapist for adults, teens, and children and teaches an elective course, Creativity and the Unconscious Mind, in Lesley University’s Creative Writing/MFA program. She is the author of two fiction (Pirates Don’t Go to KindergartenPippa’s Night Parade) and three nonfiction picture books (Madame Saqui, Revolutionary Ropedancer, Were I Not A Girl: The Inspiring and True Story of Dr. James Barry, The Sweetest Scoop, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Revolution). In her free time she reads voraciously and flies through the air on aerial silks at her local circus studio.


Lauren Simkin Berke is a native New Yorker, born in the Bronx, raised in Manhattan, and currently living and working in Brooklyn. Berke works as an artist, illustrator, educator, and when time allows publishes art books and zines under the name Captain Sears Press. Berke is an award winning illustrator, working with clients such as The New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, and Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance. Berke’s artwork has graced book covers such as Katie Rain Hill’s Rethinking Normal, The Paris Review’s The Writer’s Chapbook, and the first edition of Susan Stryker’s Transgender HistoryWere I Not A Girl: The Inspiring and True Story of Dr. James Barry is their first picture book.


Like other girls of her time, Margaret Bulkley didn’t go to school. She wouldn’t grow up to own property, be a soldier, a doctor, or hold any job other than perhaps maid or governor–such was a girl’s lot in 19th century England. And was she comfortable born in a girl’s body? We will never know. What we do know is that at the age of 18, she tugged off her stockings and dress, cut her red-gold curls, and vanished. In her place appeared a young man. Margaret became James Barry. James would attend medical school, become a doctor and a soldier, travel the world. He would fall in love, deliver babies, and fight in a duel. And he would live a rich full life.


Amy Rosa ( arosa@clpvd.org ) and Lee Smith ( lsmith@clpvd.org ) of Community Libraries of Providence.

Dates & Times

2022/10/17 - 2022/10/17

Location Info

Mount Pleasant Library

315 Academy Avenue, Providence, RI 02908