Joy Ladin

Joy Ladin is a widely published essayist and poet, literary scholar, and nationally known speaker on transgender issues. From 2003 to 2021, she held the David and Ruth Gottesman Chair in English at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University; her gender transition and return to teaching in 2008 made her the first openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution.

Joy is the author of twelve books, including the National Jewish Book Award-winning revised second edition of The Book of Anna (EOAGH, 2021); 2018’s The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective (Brandeis UP, 2018), a finalist for both a Lambda Literary Award and Triangle Award that received a starred review in Publishers Weekly; Through the Door of Life (University of Wisconsin, 2013), a memoir of gender transition that was a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award and winner of a Forward Fives Award; and ten books of poetry, including 2022’s Shekhinah Speaks (selva oscura, 2022), Fireworks in the Graveyard (Headmistress Press, 2017), Psalms (Resource, 2010), Forward Fives award winner Coming to Life, and two Lambda Literary Award finalists, Transmigration (Sheep Meadow, 2009) and Impersonation (Sheep Meadow, 2015). Joy has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts writing fellowship, a Fulbright Scholarship, an American Council of Learned Societies Research Fellowship and two Hadassah Brandeis Institute Research fellowships, among other honors.

Reading some of the best-known Torah stories through the lens of transgender experience, Joy Ladin explores fundamental questions about how religious texts,...