Liz Hodgkinson, author of From a Girl to a Man: How Laura become Michael, has been interviewed in Ox Magazine as part of a full feature on authors appearing at the Oxford Literature Festival.
Liz talks of the sadness Dianna Cowell has felt all her life from not knowing her dad, who died in 2011. “She tried and tried to contact Roberta,” she says of Diana. “She found out where she was living, wrote to her, and never got any reply.
“She has no memory at all of her father. What she’s doing now is trying to fill in a huge gap in her life. So having her at the festival will add a lot to it, she’s really the only living link with the whole story.”
Roberta’s story actually became a worldwide sensation in 1954, so that’s been something else for Diana to get her head around.
Liz is clear about the ambition of the pair’s festival appearance. “One of the things we’re going to do is try and get to the bottom of what it’s all about,” she says. “There’s still a lot of confusion. People tend to think that transgender people are not quite right in the head but they are, they’re perfectly normal, they just feel that they’re in the wrong body.”
The First Sex Changes: How Laura Became Michael and Robert Became Roberta takes place on Wednesday 6th April, 4pm at Bodleian’s Divinity School