"In a world which is still conservative at large and prejudiced for the most part, Derek's story is agonizing despite being inspirational. I say this because it shows us just how hurtful and indifferent people can be, especially if you are trying to tell the truth about something that they'd much rather pretend doesn't exist...
No amount of research into theoretical assumptions and claims can replace the experience of reading someone's life story and knowing what they've been through. The narrative style is simple yet powerful. By the time you reach the final page, you'll feel like you've had quite the journey...
Characters: This is obviously about the main character or the author himself. I don't think its necessary to mention again how moved I was by his story. I, however, would like to talk about the brilliant way in which the others are depicted. Some characters represent a particular way of thinking. No matter what we think about stereotyping, it's true that some people share the same sort of antagonism and hatred when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community and this group appears pretty frequently in the book, needless to say. The author has merged several like minded people into a few characters because they are significant only because of their point of view. This has resulted in a story not overcrowded with characters and has left enough space for Derek to reveal himself to the reader...
Genderqueer succeeds greatly as a memoir because it excels in every sub-category."
Saradia Chatterjee (Blogger: Crazy Curious Sara) Crazy Curious Reader
"I guess I'd shot my mouth off. - First Sentence, Part One: School. At A Party: 1979
This is who I am, how I am. Get used to it! I will never again tolerate people being mean and nasty to me and acting like I deserve it because I don't act like a guy. From now on being all worried about that is gonna be their problem. - Memorable Moment, Page 166
I ...had thought to use the metaphor 'like a round peg in a square hole' but somehow that didn't feel strong enough so, abnormal, there I've said it - the author was made to feel abnormal, for the most part this wasn't comfortable reading and arguably the former portions spent on the author's early life experiences were a tad too drawn out, and yet that said ...
Not always a journey easily travelled (and especially not then) I think that not to have chronicled these events and, perhaps more importantly, the feelings they gave rise to, in such detail would have been to do a disservice to the experiences of not only Derek but also to generations of people who have rarely been represented; whose stories have never been told.
A very human story but one that provides an important insight into gender and identity."
Felicity Grace Terry (Blogger) Pen and Paper
More reviews and book purchase information available here on my author web site
In other news, I've begun querying lit agents and small publishers about my second book, That Guy in our Women's Studies Class, and next week I'm thinking I'll post the query letter than I'm using for it. On the one hand, I think it will be a more difficult sell: the topic of being genderqueer is about as hot at the moment as its ever been, whereas the second book, while still tangentially about that (the main character, i.e., me, is genderqueer, and that both informs a lot of the character's interactions with the other characters and also is the reason for majoring in women's studies in the first place), is a lot more focused on the presence of a male person (or man, or person perceived to be male or a man at any rate) within feminism and the larger questions of privilege and marginalization... and that's probably going to be perceived by lit agents and publishers as a lot more intellectual and less mainstream. On the other hand, I'll have the advantage of being a published author already this time around. The author of a book that's being nominated by the publisher as their entry for the Aspen Prize, in fact!
So I may be able to pull it off, to get my second book published.
I'm still soliciting beta readers, by the way. It's only recently out of the oven and I want to get some folks to do taste tests, so if you're up for a novel-length nonfiction book about a sissy who hitches to New York to major in women's studies, give me a holler.
You're secluded in quarantine, and all the performances and events have been cancelled, so it's a good time to read a book!
My book, GenderQueer: A Story From a Different Closet, has been published by Sunstone Press. It is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in paperback and ebook, and as ebook only from Apple, Kobo, and directly from Sunstone Press themselves.
Links to published reviews and comments are listed on my Home Page
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