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She of the Mountains
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She of the Mountains

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4.31  ·  Rating details ·  788 ratings  ·  120 reviews
Finalist, Lambda Literary Award

In the beginning, there is no he. There is no she.

Two cells make up one cell. This is the mathematics behind creation. One plus one makes one. Life begets life. We are the period to a sentence, the effect to a cause, always belonging to someone. We are never our own.

This is why we are so lonely.


She of the Mountains is a beautifully rendered i
...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by Arsenal Pulp Press
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Khashayar Mohammadi
A great entry to the world of non-binary Queer literature.

A must read not just for lovers of LGBTQ fiction, but for all lovers of literature.
Jason
Dec 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian, lgbtqia
Vivek Shraya's SHE OF THE MOUNTAINS is doing a lot of things I like seeing done. The novel is comprised of two narratives, a queer love story and a reimagined Hindu myth, both of which dealing with power, identity, and body politics. The book also combines text and image with beautiful illustrations by Raymond Biesinger. Looking forward to doing a full video review of this.
Andrew
Sep 01, 2014 rated it liked it
When she did leave, and a second head appeared on his shoulder, he tried to conjure her love. She loves you, she loves you, she loves you, he said to the head. It refused to disappear.

Why isn’t this working? She loves you, she loves you, she loves you, his original head kept telling the other, his voice increasing in volume, thinking perhaps the new head’s ears could not hear very well.

You’re wasting your breath, the new head replied. And it was right. Her love did seem to have limitations. Its
...more
Janani
Beautifully combines two narratives- a reimagination of several different Hindu mythological stories, and a contemporary story of a queer man's journey of his personal identity. The writing is lyrical and the emotions are raw. You can't miss out on this one.
Greg Giannakis
Jun 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, can-lit, queer
Queer tiingz and mythology is a p wonderful combo.
Sarah
A stunning lyrical novel that weaves a bisexual story of love and lust with Hindu mythology to create a story that is fucking gorgeous in it’s vivid emotional draw.

She of the Mountains by Lambda Literary Award-winning bisexual author Vivek Shraya blends two stories into one, alternating between telling the Hindu myths of Pavarti, Ganesh, and Shiv with a harsh bisexual coming of age story. The unnamed effeminate bisexual main character endures a childhood of homophobic bullying that leads to his
...more
Raina
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantastical, queer-af
Oh, what can I say about this book that will do it justice? First of all, I read it in all of 90 minutes, AND it has illustrations! I am going to buy a physical copy of this book so that I can underline and highlight my favorite passages; there were just too many to count.

But here, I'll give you one:
"At first, he was certain that the confusion arose from language; more specifically, the failure of language...But with the absence of language, of a label, came an unfortunate implication: shame. T
...more
Merritt K.
A lot of the prose didn't work for me -- too much telling, summarizing, distance. But I enjoyed the dual structure of the narrative, and things really open up near the end when the book abandons its dedication to straightforward narration of the main character's feelings and actions for a much stranger, more compelling style. It's also a very aesthetically pleasant object -- the typography and illustrations really come together in a very beautiful way.
Lydia
Imagine a great love epic stripped of all its finery, down to its bare bones, and hold it in your hands like you're trying to drink it as water.

Now, take that image and make it queer.

This is Vivek Shraya's writing, to me.

There are quotations alone in this book that make it worth a 5-star rating.

"Wearing 'queer' allowed him to shed the sense that he was lying to one group or another. His love, and the person he cherished the most, no longer needed to be kept secret. He could be everything all
...more
Imogen
Jan 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt-etc
A really compelling read, ‘She of the Mountains’ explores the complex phases of self identity and how they relate to our relationships and those around us.
My favourite aspect of the book was the retelling of Hindu mythology which flowed seamlessly with the modern love story.
My only criticism (and it’s a very vague criticism) of this story is the section where the protagonist feels there is no different between gay and straight people in their attitudes towards those who identify as queer. Thou
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Nicole
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Wow, I was not expecting to love this little book as much as I did. I wish I could send this book to my confused queer self a couple years ago. Bi representation is so f-ing important. So many of the questions in this book were the same questions I asked myself and if I had known I wasn't the only one I would've come out way sooner.
The Hindu stories were a great way to divide up the sections and the changes in the narrator.
I also related way too hard to the relationship. Except everyone reads m
...more
feux d'artifice
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is pretty good! I wish I was more familiar with Hindu mythology though, I feel like I would have gotten more out of the reading experience.
One of the fundamental themes I took away from this reading was the radical act of self love. Beautiful read and beautiful illustrations, and I think this would be a particularly beautiful gift to any QPOC. <3
Chrissy Wilson
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and heart wrenching perspective on what it is to be different. As I read through I longed for the human experience of this world to be different, and yet Shraya takes you on a journey of love and beauty and hope.
Alexa
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really beautifully written and difficult to put down. A really powerful telling of the ways pain and abuse can manifest in one's relation to the body.
Meg
Feb 20, 2017 added it
Shelves: canadian
ah! so good. twin personal journey of coming to terms with body + sexuality w/ Hindu god stories of Ganesh.
M.
Reread this for class (have been teaching it) and was wowed again by its disruption of the normative gay coming-out tale and its commitment to questioning, fluidity, indeterminacy (as well as its challenge to hetero and homonormativity and compulsory monosexuality). The parallel storyline of Parvati, Shiva, and Ganesh brings queer reproduction, queer embodiment, and epic long love into the novel, while the mortal protagonist struggles against the categories assigned to him. Bi/Q/T/POC; a thoroug ...more
Nethra Ram
Jul 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, male-authors
One of the best and most poignant narratives I've read. Shraya works magic with brevity. The honesty of the narrative is obvious right away and stays with you long after you turn the last page. The mythology part reads like a Bharatnatyam recital, swaying in time with the music, the story unfolding in front of your eyes in a dramatic yet moving portrayal. That caught me by surprise...how words can sound and feel like dance! As for the story, the characters' conflicts and resolutions, they couldn ...more
Will
Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and moving juxtaposition between Hindu scripture and a Canadian person's coming of age and identity. The illustrations were incredible and the exploration of queerness and relationships left me thinking well into the night. Highly recommend to anyone looking for a quick read that surround queer relationships.
Laura Frey (Reading in Bed)
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Loved this modern love story. Be warned - cover illustration very attractive to kids, but some of the illustrations inside are not kid friendly :) But for those of us old enough to appreciate, they are beautiful!
Erin
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is definitely a different style book than what I normally read. I was drawn to the graphic illustration style and the lyrical prose.

I really enjoyed the way the mythology aspect enhances the main character’s journey of self discovery. There was also a lot of interesting social commentary woven into the text.

This was a fast read but so full of beauty. I can see myself returning to this again.
rosalind
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faves, queer
this is just. utterly phenomenal.
B.R. Sanders
Review to come
Tess Visser
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
WOW
Gaynor
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A poetic beauty. A tale of love and identity imaginatively interwoven with Hindu mythology that adds an exquisite dimension, as does the artwork. The sensitivities of the young man’s journey near broke my heart. As well did my affinity felt for the Mother figures in the story. The author’s style of expression is captivating.

"The beauty of life is in the will to live"
Yas Necati
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
One of the most beautiful books I've ever read
Kye
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’d be lying if I said I understood this book. I didn’t. Most of it was over my head and I just kinda nodded and smiled: “act like you get it, kye.” But the parts I DID understand, I really enjoyed 🤷🏼♀ ...more
Bogi Takács
Poignant and full of wonder; two parallel narratives of Hindu deities and a contemporary Indian-Canadian queer man's search for sexual and personal identity. I felt it was very true to life, though I am not an Indian-Canadian man at all, but I could very much relate to it. My only issue was that the ending felt too abrupt for me. (view spoiler) ...more
Holly (The Grimdragon)
Aug 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
But queer spoke to all the other spaces and moments his body and his heart didn't fit into. Queer acknowledged both the cocksucking porn on his laptop and the wanting to be underneath her. Queer encompassed every time his gender was read as wrong and the words "fucking faggot" were spat at him. Wearing queer allowed him to shed the sense that he was lying to one group or another. His love, and the person he cherished most, no longer needed to be kept secret. He could be everything all at once. I ...more
nikki
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, 2015
4.5 stars. In total I think this took me about 90 minutes on my meal breaks at work. I devoured it. I loved the weaving of the two stories, and the style really worked for me. The story of 'he' and his struggle with identity, and the theme about the dangers of policing things such as sexuality, really hit home. I will definitely be returning to this book in the future, and am very curious to read more of Shraya's works.
C.E. G
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer-fiction
Two stories in one - a retelling of the Hindu mythology of Parvati, Shiva, and Ganesh, and a story about the nameless protagonist "he" exploring love and bisexual/queer identity. This would have been a 5 star read for me if I'd read it at a different point in my life, but for some reason, today it just felt more like a solid 4 stars.
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Vivek Shraya is an artist whose body of work crosses the boundaries of music, poetry, fiction, visual art, and film. A Publishing Triangle Award winner, her books include I'm Afraid of Men, even this page is white, The Boy & The Bindi, and She of the Mountains. Shraya is one half of music duo Too Attached and founder of publishing imprint VS. Books. She teaches creative writing at the Univer ...more
“No, really, what do you like about me? she insisted.

Why?

I figure if I know, I can keep doing it to keep you as long as I can.”
2 likes
“The beauty of life is that it ends. If I were mortal and could be granted anything, I assure you, my request would not be for something as dull as longetivity.” 1 likes
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