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As a gal who read Feinberg’s first novel Stone Butch Blues and had my young mind and life rearranged by its contents, I have been anticipating this novel for years. I was lucky enough to see Feinberg recently on the Drag King Dreams book tour. Ze talked about unions, local and global warfare, class, gender and the need for activist community cohesiveness. Ze did not read from the new novel until someone requested it during the Q&A. Now, having read the novel, I understand that Feinberg’s passionate words on these issues are what this novel is about, through the eyes of Max Rabinowitz, the main character, along with Max’s New York cast of friends, co-workers and neighbours. The tale that unfolds is a story of living outside gender norms, outside of cultural norms, in a political, and class struggle of violence and alienation. Feinberg teases out many of the isolated elements that exist in queer, trans and activist culture and puts them onto paper in a unified community framework. Ze doesn’t skim the surface, going deep into the hearts and minds of fictional characters–more than many live people can delve into themselves. Feinberg’s dream of disenfranchised people from all walks of life coming together to create strength and change is just short of utopian. Once again ze has provoked emotion, thought, discussion and hope–all the signs of a great writer, thinker and activist. (heze douglas)

by Leslie Feinberg, $20.50, 302 pgs, Carroll & Graf Publishers,

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