This shelf belongs to...Kai Cheng Thom!

Each month, Librairie Drawn & Quarterly invites a local author or artist to curate a shelf in the store. This September, we bring you recommendations from Kei Cheng Thom!

KAI CHENG THOM aka LADY SIN TRAYDA is a fiery writer, performer, spoken word artist and drag-dance sensation. Her first novel, Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir was recently published by Metonymy Press, and her first full-length poetry collection is due from Arsenal Pulp Press in April 2017.

All of Kai’s picks will be 15% off for the month of September. The theme of this list is “unnatural women” – monstresses, murderesses, witches, transsexuals and all of our kindred! Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll find on her shelf:

On Loving Women - Diane Obamsawin
Obamsawin's graphic novel is a short collection of even shorter autobiographical vignettes that illustrate life, love, and lesbian coming of age with deceptively simple art and storytelling. Deliciously weird - the characters are all rendered in simple line drawings as women with human bodies and animal heads - and touchingly frank, On Loving Women is a bittersweet slice of life.

Salt Fish Girl – Larissa Lai
Larissa Lai’s Salt Fish Girl is an oft-underappreciated, massively important addition to the canons of Chinese-Canadian, queer, and lesbian literature. A truly gut-wrenching “tail” of a fallen goddess, a not-so-futuristic society overrun by capitalism, and a genetic conspiracy, this book is gorgeous lyricism, mythological resonance, and sexy, sly political commentary.

Sub Rosa – Amber Dawn
Amber Dawn’s haunting urban fantasy about a group of magical sex workers known as the Glories, who live and work in a secret pleasure district known as Sub Rosa (Italian for “under the rose”), is a queer femme classic. It was also a foundational inspiration for my own first novel.

Bodymap – Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarsinha
In her third collection of poems, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha plunges deep into the raw, beating-heart realities of living though ableism, racism, and trauma, mapping the uncharted territory of stories that are too often pushed to the margins.

Monstress – Marjorie Liu
Graphic novelist superstar Marjorie Liu brings us a terrifying world of war, magic, and monstrosity. It’s Game of Thrones but feminist, racialized, and in comic-book form. What’s not to like?

Psycho Nymph Exile – Porpentine Charity Heartscape
Multimedia artist and video game maker Porpentine takes magical girl anime, sci-fi, and cyberpunk, plunges her fingers into their eyeballs, and turns their faces inside out in this horrific-yet-beautiful novella that tells the love story of a “trash girl” and depowered superheroine who live in a twisted dimension where men don’t exist, child soldiers pilot biomechanical weapons shaped like giant women, and trauma is a biological disease.

Reacquainted With Life – KOKUMO
This Lambda-Award winning poetry collection is a punch to the face of hypocritical social justice politics and assimilationist community leaders. KOKUMO’s words are a gasp for air, an electric storm, a pair of welcoming arms for those who are in search of life.

Wild Seed – Octavia Butler
A sci-fi classic by the mistress herself: Octavia Butler spins a deceptively simple tale that strikes chords at the core of issues of race, gender, sex, abuse and intimacy in this prequel installment of her Patternist series.

Practical Magic – Alice Hoffman
The only mass-market title you will find on this list, and something a of a guilty pleasure – before Alice Hoffman’s bittersweet story about two witchy sisters, one in search of love and the other in search of safety, was turned into a so-cheesy-it’s-delicious movie starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, it was a startlingly sophisticated novel about intergenerational relationships between women surviving stigma, betrayal, and each other.

Super Mutant Magic Academy – Jillian Tamaki
Jillian Tamaki takes us into the heart of the “magical boarding school” trope to deliver a strikingly poignant story about growing up and loss.

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