Small Beauty

Small Beauty

Book - 2016
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Fiction. Asian & Asian American Studies. LGBTQIA Studies. Women's Studies. SMALL BEAUTY tells the story of Mei, a mixed race trans woman managing the death of her cousin, the ways she contorts to navigate racism and transphobia, and her desire for community as she takes an opportunity to leave the city and revisit a town from her family's past, where she discovers queer family history while parsing through her own anger and trauma. Cycling through time, points of view, and rural and city life, the novel introduces us to Mei's community in fictional Dundurn and Herbertsville, loosely based on Southern Ontario places: Annette and Connie, other Asian trans women from the drop-ins; Sandy, Mei's older cousin and constant (if aggressive) support; Diane, an older lesbian with a pick-up and secret links to Mei's blood family; and Nelson, a presence lost before found, whose story is told in pictures sewn into a suitcase. Interspersed with one culminating night-time lake scene, the book carries us through these stories and towards their completion as the frustrating, necessary web that keeps Mei attached to the world.
Publisher: Montreal, QC : Metonymy Press, [2016]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780994047120
Branch Call Number: FIC WILSON- 2016
Characteristics: 161 pages ; 21 cm


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Nov 26, 2017

"Now she is in the boat in the bay wondering if she could find herself or the shore if the sky clouded over. No facial expressions, no sounds other than her stolen paddle breaking the surface of the bay. The water, reflecting the sky, holds the stars, wavering points of light that outline the boat, her arms. Without these pinholes, what would she reference herself against? A change in weather and she would lose her position. She would not be able to guide herself or anyone else."

I finished Small Beauty by Jia Qing Wilson Yang and I highly recommend it. a woman deals with grief upon learnjng her close cousin is dead, her only family members in her life being gone, through death and disownment, the ways they barely truly knew one another despite being family.

the flashbacks to mei’s childhood or otherwise her pre-transition life are written so so well. I shouldn’t be as amazed as I am every time I read a well done pre-transition flashback written by a trans author, that’s careful and thoughtful about their characters being described with their gender in mind, but unfortunately, cis authors inundate the market and fuck this up the most of all

it’s so good. I love it. I can’t believe it’s a debut novel, and i can't wait to see what wilson-yang publishes next.


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