Aug. 28, 2013 by David Low
William Klaber ’67 is the author of a new novel, The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell, published by Greenleaf Book Group Press. This fictional memoir is based on the real-life Lucy Ann Lobdell who, in 1855, decided to live the rest of her life as a man. She was involved in what may have been the first same-sex marriage in America when she married Marie Perry and made history when she was put on trial in Minnesota for wearing men’s clothes.
While Lobdell promised to write her own memoir about her adventures in male attire, her account was never found, and Klaber decided to take on the task for her, combining extensive historical research with a creative touch. The book had its beginning at the Wesleyan Writers Conference, and the author shares his relationship with Lobdell’s story in the book’s afterword.
A review of the novel in Publishers Weekly says, “What makes the story stand out is the author’s skill in imagining the life of a transgender woman in a time when women had virtually no power in the world and when different sexual orientations were considered grave mental illnesses. . . . A unique and important book.”
Klaber is a part-time journalist who lives in upstate New York, just a short trip upstream from where Lobdell lived more than 150 years ago.