TSM16/16. Journalistic Wonderment with Amy Ellis Nutt

Their Story Matters with Sara Troy and her guest Amy Ellis Nutt aired April 19-25th 

Mental Issues, Transgender, Ship wrecks, Science Writer, Fact checker, Amy has done it all. 

BECOMING NICOLE: The Transformation of An American Family
by Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Amy Ellis Nutt.


BECOMING NICOLE is a miracle. It’s the story of a family struggling with—and embracing—a transgender child. But more than, it’s really about accepting each other, and ourselves, in all our messy, contradictory glory. The Maines family is as American as they come. In the journey, they take toward authenticity, and justice, we see a model for the future of our country, a future in which all of us somehow find the courage, and the love, to become our best selves.”

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In 2012, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Amy Ellis Nutt began reporting on a family that is ordinary in many ways – middle class, politically conservative, from rural America – with one exception: one of their identical twin sons, at the age of about two, began identifying as a girl. On October 20, 2015, Random House published  BECOMING NICOLE: The Transformation of An American Family, a book about gender identity, transgender rights, community, and, above all, a family tested beyond what they could ever imagine. It’s also a book steeped in the history of transgenderism, putting Nicole’s story into a larger cultural and medical context.

When Random House Executive Editor David Ebershoff acquired BECOMING NICOLE in early 2013, little did we know that 2015 would be a watershed year in the trans movement: Laverne Cox has become a superstar; Caitlyn Jenner is telling her story in powerful ways, and newly-minted Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne  played an early transgender pioneer in The Danish Girl. BECOMING NICOLE, through its story of one girl and her family, illuminates a complex social and political issue so many Americas are curious about. NOW BEING MADE INTO A T.V PILOT COMING SOON. 


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“Born in Staten Island, I grew up in central New Jersey as the middle child of five, daughter of Dave and Grace Nutt. I have a beloved brother and sisters and 12 adored nieces and nephews. An aborted career as an academic serendipitously propelled me, albeit late out of the gate, into journalism. Sports Illustrated magazine, and Bambi Bachman Wulf, gave me my start as a fact-checker. A Masters degree in Journalism, earned at Columbia University in one of the J-school’s first part-time classes, helped me realize that as much as I loved sports, I didn’t want to write about them the rest of my life.”

A breast cancer survivor, bio-polar, 80% deaf as a child, all these things gave Amy the tools and understanding she needed to thrive in her field of expertise.

Nearly everything I know about storytelling I learned at The Newark Star-Ledger, where I was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in feature writing in 2009 for “The Accidental Artist,” which eventually became a book, “Shadows Bright as Glass.” In 2011,(Buy Here)  I was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing for my series “The Wreck of the Lady Mary.”

In 2014 I was lucky to land a dream job as a science writer at The Washington Post, where my beat is the “brain.” Currently, I live in Washington, D.C., but I’m still a Yankees fan.

Amy Ellis Nutt is longtime American journalist and author. She won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in feature writing for a narrative investigation into the deaths of six fishermen in the sinking of their scallop boat off the coast of New Jersey. She is the author of three books including two NYT best-sellers published last year, The Teenage Brain, with co-author Dr Frances Jensen, and Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family. She is currently a science writer at The Washington Post and lives in the District of Columbia.

Nutt’s beat at the Post is the brain where she frequently writes about mental health issues including most recently a 3-part series into science’s search for new biologically-based methods of predicting, diagnosing and treating mental illness.


Amy’s Washington post Articles

Amy’s Books

Amy’s Journalism




For more shows from Sara Troy go to their-story-matters

FOR OUR Mental Health shows go to mental-health-challenges-shows

Amy’s Bi-Polar article on finding her self.