Fiction: The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff

Gently based upon the true story of transgender Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe, The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff is a story of love and self-realization, and the importance of living your life as the person you were meant to be. Einar is a well respected landscape painter and professor, shy and soft spoken. His wife Gerda is a large, strong, blond-haired portrait artist, who has left her wealthy California family to live and paint with Einar in the Widow House, in Denmark. When Gerda’s female model is unable to make it for a sitting, Gerda persuades Einar to put on her dress and stockings and pose in her stead. This unleashes Lili, who over time becomes a larger part of of Einar’s life and, with the encouragement of Gerda, takes her place in their lives. However Lili must also confront the culture of early 20th century Europe and the infancy of the medical sex reassignment field, in order to truly live her life as herself, whatever the risks.