Book review: “Draft”, by Katy Tur

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As LA News crumbles, Marika flees her husband’s violent behavior and the Tur family crumbles as well. But the father remains Tur’s unsolved case, popping up to ask her to pay the phone bill and unload new drama when she least expects it. Like when she covered the Boston bombing:

“Do you have a minute? Are you alone? Are you seated?”
Yes Dad, I thought. What is it now?
“Well, I have great news,” my father said.
I took another bite of my cheeseburger, then nearly choked to death.
“I decided to become a woman.

Bob becomes Hannah, then chooses the name Zoey. Regarding his past violence against his wife and children, she questions the feeling of being trapped by a new macho identity.

Despite Tur’s efforts to understand and Zoey’s self-proclaimed role as an erratic spokesperson for the LGBTQ community, the transition doesn’t help their relationship, nor do Zoey’s oddly retrograde comments. “I’m already a poor driver,” Zoey says after starting hormones. But it’s Zoey asking Tur to exonerate Bob that sticks with both Tur and the reader. “We need to talk about the violence,” Tur says on a call, trying to confront Zoey’s past. She writes, “I felt like my dad was using a genderless card that I didn’t know existed.

“I already feel different,” Zoey replies. “My female brain becomes softer and more emotional. I’m filled with calm and love. Eventually Zoey says, ‘Bob Tur is dead.’

“What Bob Tur did is not dead,” Katy Tur tries to explain. “You shouted. You knock. You have caused pain.

“Who did I hit?”

“All of us,” she said. “You even kicked the dog.” But Zoey denies it even more strongly.

As Tur’s fame grows, Zoey escalates her attacks on her daughter, telling the media that she is transphobic and unsupportive because, Zoey says, supporting the LGBTQ community “would hurt her career”. From Tur’s account, none of this seems to be true; in fact, she seems patient, given Zoey’s provocations. She’s careful to use Zoey’s name and the pronoun “she” from when Zoey calls her to discuss her transition, while continuing to think of her as a father (“I’m still a dad,” Zoey claims) .

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