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Monday, 17 June 2013

Nevada by Imogen Binnie

We have finally gotten ourselves a copy of Imogen Binnie's first novel, Nevada, which has been somewhat difficult to obtain since its publication earlier this spring. Very exciting! Binnie did an event at Cagibi last month as part of her book tour, and gave possibly the best reading I have ever experienced - a rich verbal onslaught of sass, anger, and difficult feelings, delivered so powerfully that the room's collective breath was suspended for minutes on end.


Nevada is narrated by Maria, a young trans woman living in New York City, struggling to reconcile her punk values with her retail job, and, increasingly, to relate to her girlfriend. When things hit the fan, Maria sets off on an impromptu road trip, during the course of which she meets and becomes a mostly-unwanted mentor to James, a teenaged Wal Mart clerk stuck in Star City Nevada who may be in the process of realizing he is trans.

Here's Maria:
"That's what it's like to be a trans woman: never being sure who knows you're trans or what the knowledge would even mean to them. Being on unsure, weird social footing. And it's not even like it matters if someone knows you're trans. Who cares. You just don't want your hilarious, charming, complicated weirdo self to be erased by ideas people have in their heads that were made up by, like, hack TV writers, or even hackier Internet porn writers. It just sucks having to educate people. Sound familiar? Trans women have the exact same shit that everybody else in the world has who isn't white, het, male, able-bodied or otherwise privileged. It's not glamorous or mysterious. It's boring.

Maria is totally exhausted by it and bored of it, and if you're not, she is sorry. Terribly, appallingly, sarcastically, uselessly and pointlessly sorry."  (p. 6)

Michelle Tea, Ali Liebegott and Rhiannon Argo have lavished Nevada with well-deserved praise.

Come get your hands on a copy!

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