Books

With my PhD in English Literature at Edinburgh University about to begin, I will be reading lots of stuff this year. Do not expect weekly reviews, I do not read quickly. But I will share with you anything interesting I do read, whether it’s a novel that’s in vogue, or something from my course that I think is worth knowing that broadened my horizon. I’ll be reading a lot of things about transgender discourse, but hopefully, a lot of things which aren’t, as well.

George Monbiot: How Did We Get Into This Mess?

Monbiot
George Monbiot: How Did We Get Into This Mess? The raison d'etre of this collection of essays comes in the final chapter in a book looking for answers as to the state of the world today: In the United States, blue-collar workers angrily demand that they be left without health care, and insist that millionaires should pay less tax . . . What has hap...
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Naomi Klein: No Is Not Enough

Naomi-Klein
Naomi Klein: No Is Not Enough I've been taking in books instead of movies, recently quite political ones, Christmas treats that I got for myself and am working through. Finally, I have something I want to write about. Naomi Klein's No Is Not Enough is the one book I'd recommend to anyone. It's a brilliant deconstruction of Trump and his P...
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Vested Interests by Marjorie Garber (non-fiction)

Vested Interests by Marjorie Garber (non-fiction)
26.09.16: Marjorie Garber's Vested Interests One of the most significant studies of transgender identity in popular fiction, Vested Interests is a treasure trove of information about pop culture's various depictions of transgender identity. Much more than Gilbert and Gubar's essay on cross-dressing, Garber spotlights not only transvestism but also ...
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Gilbert & Gubar: Cross-dressing and Re-dressing (non-fiction)

Gilbert & Gubar: Cross-dressing and Re-dressing (non-fiction)
26.09.16: Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, Cross-dressing and Re-dressing Within the second volume of No Man's Land is this essay, an intensively researched investigation by Gilbert and Gubar (G&G) on the history of gender switching in English literature. Most useful is the sheer depth and detail of the history of cross-dressing in literature, t...
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Venus as a Boy by Luke Sutherland

Venus as a Boy by Luke Sutherland
​Reviewed 23/09/2016 How to categorize this story? It has moments of magical realism, as well as gritty darkness: bullying, racism, homophobia and rape. It's about a protagonist who becomes a prostitute and turns to gold, and whose sexual contact allows people to see heaven. It is only a novella, but has resonated with me since I first read it back...
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James Miranda Barry by Patricia Duncker

James Miranda Barry by Patricia Duncker
James Miranda Barry, by Patricia Duncker, 22.09.16 History has few transgender stories of reliable information, with as much myth as there is fact. Might this be due to the influence of religion on the written word before the twentieth century? Historical accounts have little to say about pregnant popes and cross-dressing royalty, not just in relat...
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The Danish Girl

The Danish Girl
Transgender identity in the twenty-first century is a fragmented thing. Is your gender identity something you're born with, or something you acquire? Is it a bit of both? It's interesting to look at literature from different periods to see whether the depiction is more ​ essentialist ​  or its theoretical opposite,  social construction ,&...
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Allyson Stack’s Under the Heartless Blue and Marlon James’s A Brief History of Seven Killings

Allyson Stack’s Under the Heartless Blue and Marlon James’s A Brief History of Seven Killings
Who has time to read fiction? A quick Internet search will tell you that in 2013, 184,000 books were published in the UK, and in the US, 304,912. Where do you start? It's difficult to find the time, especially if it's a novel that stretches beyond the 400-page boundary. I'll start in this first posting on literature with a disclosure that one of th...
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