The Story of My Life Ongoing, by C.S. Cobb


a novel by Candas Jane Dorsey

Print: 978-1-77133-867-7 – $19.95
ePUB: 978-1-77133-866-0 – $9.99
PDF: 978-1-77133-868-4 – $9.99

256 Pages
December 7, 2021

It’s not easy “choosing not to choose,” especially for a nonbinary teen in 2007.

Corey was born intersex, but their father and stepmother didn’t make a big deal about it. Then Corey’s dad dies suddenly. Now Corey’s disapproving mother wants Corey to “pick a side”. Corey’s old enough to say no to medical intervention—but not old enough to avoid being held in a youth psych ward when their mom makes an issue of Corey’s refusal to conform to the gender binary.

In the psych ward, Corey makes friends with Kim, a teen girl diagnosed as anorexic—or is she? As they work to unravel their pasts, they discover that Kim’s situation is even more dangerous than either of them had ever imagined.

“Thought provoking and innovative… this groundbreaking novel provides insight into the inner experiences and emotions of an often ignored and invisible gender… that of intersexuality. As an intersex person, I found myself reading and relating to Corey’s experiences living life in a world that exists on the binary when that binary clearly does not apply. It gave me comfort to know there was someone else out there in the pages of this book who understands how it was and how it is for intersex youth.”
—Quinn Wade

“A profound book every young person should read. Dorsey’s vivid characters serve as a powerful reminder that we are all different in unique ways. Ultimately, it is the courage to truly see and believe in ourselves that matters the most.”
—Dr. Kristopher Wells, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair, MacEwan University

The Story of My Life Ongoing, by C.S. Cobb

Candas Jane Dorsey is an internationally-known, award-winning author of several novels, four poetry books; several anthologies edited/co-edited, and numerous published stories, poems, reviews, and critical essays. Her most recent fiction includes novels The Adventures of Isabel; What’s the Matter with Mary Jane?; and The Man Who Wasn’t There; and short fiction Vanilla and Other Stories and ICE and Other Stories. For fourteen years, she was the editor/publisher of the literary press, The Books Collective, including River Books and, for a time, Tesseract Books. She was founding president of SFCanada, and has been president of the Writers Guild of Alberta. She has received a variety of awards and honours for her books and short fiction, including most recently, the 2017 the WGA Golden Pen Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Literary Arts. She was inducted into the City of Edmonton Arts and Cultural Hall of Fame in 2019. She is also a community activist, advocate and leader who has served on many community boards and committees for working for neighbourhoods, heritage, social planning and human rights advocacy. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

1 review for The Story of My Life Ongoing, by C.S. Cobb

  1. Inanna Admin

    The Story of My Life Ongoing, by C.S. Cobb by Candas Jane Dorsey (Excerpt)
    reviewed by Joe Kadi
    Alberta Views – September 30, 2022

    Candas Jane Dorsey is a well-established author and activist in Alberta who’s made valuable contributions to 2SLBGTQIA+ literature. In this young adult novel, she tells the story of Corey Cobb, a teenager comfortable with their intersex identity and uninterested in surgical “remedies.” Intersex folks, born with ambiguous genitalia, have not been well represented in the burgeoning field of queer/trans literature, and Dorsey does an excellent job of focusing on intersex experience, subtly weaving in details, definitions and facts about the community while telling a compelling story.

    The novel is creative, expansive and well written, most of it in Corey’s voice. Set in a psychiatric ward in an Edmonton hospital, the book consists of text exchanges, school assignments such as book reports, psychiatric assessments, letters, emails and teacher commentary. Dorsey’s light touch allows these elements to flow together seamlessly.

    Most notably, she’s created a main character who is likeable and smart, with their own unique take on the world. How could I fail to appreciate a teenager exulting at the news that their mother is divorcing her second husband: “So I know enough not to say What took you so long? or Good thing, cuz the guy’s a total zero! or Divorcing him! Why not beat him senseless with a stick instead? but instead I remember civility and I say, ‘I’m so sorry. What happened?’ ”

    Corey’s strength matches that of other key characters. One of my favourites is counsellor and English teacher Ms. Johnson and her propensity for witty pronouncements, including: “If it hasn’t occurred to you yet that literature is therapy for the entire human race, this is a good time to figure it out.”

    …Early on, Corey expresses hope that their book will help at least one kid. With its vivid characters and lively writing, I believe this novel will help many more people than that.

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