Chapter 1: DEATH OF A SO-CALLED TRANSSEXUAL
The year before she died, Dawn Langley Simmons, a person I'd never met but knew from her infamous reputation, sent me a letter. I learned later she'd asked someone to draft the letter for her, despite being a published writer, because she suffered from Parkinson's disease and could no longer type. Dawn Simmons said she'd gotten my address from a friend, and she had a question.
I was living in Charleston, South Carolina, Dawn's adopted hometown, an old city where she'd settled after sampling its atmosphere of forgotten manners and antique buildings. Dawn...