The Third Person

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Pub Date 03 May 2022 | Archive Date 03 May 2022
Drawn & Quarterly, Drawn and Quarterly

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Description

A boldly drawn, unforgettable memoir about trauma and the barriers to gender affirming health care

In the winter of 2004, a shy woman named Emma sits in Toby’s office. She wants to share this wonderful new book she’s reading, but Toby, her therapist, is concerned with other things. Emma is transgender, and has sought out Toby for approval for hormone replacement therapy. Emma has shown up at the therapy sessions as an outgoing, confident young woman named Katina, and a depressed, submissive workaholic named Ed. She has little or no memory of her actions when presenting as these other two people. And then Toby asks about her childhood . . .

As the story unfolds, we discover clues to Emma’s troubled past and how and why these other two people may have come into existence. As Toby juggles treating three separate people, each with their own unique personalities and memories, he begins to wonder if Emma is merely acting out to get attention, or if she actually has Dissociative Identity Disorder. Is she just a troubled woman in need of help? And is “the third person” in her brain protecting her, or derailing her chances of ever finding peace?

The Third Person is a riveting memoir from newcomer Emma Grove. Drawn in thick, emotive lines, with the refined style of a comics vet, Grove has created a singular, gripping depiction of the intersection of identities and trauma. The Third Person is a testament to the importance of having the space to heal and live authentically.

A boldly drawn, unforgettable memoir about trauma and the barriers to gender affirming health care

In the winter of 2004, a shy woman named Emma sits in Toby’s office. She wants to share this...


Advance Praise

“Emma Grove has written a beautiful, vulnerable, exquisite book that offers an uncommonly clear look at a mind coming to know itself.”

—Torrey Peters, Detransition, Baby


“Emma Grove’s graphic memoir is haunting, unsettling, and triumphant. What starts off as a memoir of transition ultimately becomes a story of the resilience of the human spirit. How do we become ourselves How do we find harmony between all the parts of ourselves These universal questions are at the heart of The Third Person, an unforgettable work of courage.” —Jennifer Finney Boylan, She’s Not There and Good Boy


“Don’t be intimidated by this book’s page count—I read the entire thing in one evening. The simple yet expressive art, the well-paced dialogue, and the emotional journey drew me in. Grove writes of her experience seeking therapy to advance her gender transition, only to uncover a deep well of unprocessed childhood trauma. I’m extremely glad she was able to heal to the point where writing this book was possible.”—Maia Kobabe, Gender Queer

“Emma Grove has written a beautiful, vulnerable, exquisite book that offers an uncommonly clear look at a mind coming to know itself.”

—Torrey Peters, Detransition, Baby


“Emma Grove’s graphic memoir is...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781770466159
PRICE $39.95 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

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Average rating from 3 members


Featured Reviews

First and foremost, the courage it took for Emma Grove to publish this memoir is astonishing. The Third Person is not an easy read and as Emma states in the Author’s Note at the beginning, the dialogue has not been invented for point of view, only edited for length when repetition was involved. That said, the line drawn depictions of the different characters are a substantial component of the reader’s experience so take your time when reading the text to also look closely at the facial and body expressions. During the course of the story each layer is slowly peeled away like those in an onion to unravel the trauma underneath that has caused the three people we see appear on the therapist’s couch: Ed, Emma and Katina, who have come seeking approval to begin the process of transitioning to a woman permanently. The Third Person is not to be missed and Emma Grove, I truly hope the process of writing and drawing this story has brought you some peace.

Thank you to NetGalley and Drawn & Quarterly for providing an advanced copy for an honest and unbiased review.

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An incredibly emotional and touching read about a trans woman and her experience with dissociative identity disorder.

I can't imagine any better format for this story than a graphic novel. Emma's drawings are minimalist and there's a lot of conversation - but her characters display a lot of emotion and context from small gestures. The story could have been confusing (it appears it was definitely a confusing thing to live though), but pieces come together for the read easily, and it's been very well crafted.

I ripped through this in two sittings (but I didn't want to put it down - so could have easily done it in one!). I was left with more empathy and understanding of DID - which I really didn't have much knowledge of before. It was also fascinating to see in such detail the process of working with a therapist (and what a difference a better one can make).

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