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Depart, Depart!

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  174 ratings  ·  82 reviews
When an unprecedented hurricane devastates the city of Houston, Noah Mishner finds shelter in the Dallas Mavericks' basketball arena. Though he finds community among other queer refugees, Noah fears his trans and Jewish identities put him at risk with certain capital-T Texans. His fears take form when he starts seeing visions of his great-grandfather Abe, who fled Nazi Ger ...more
Published September 1st 2020 by Stelliform Press
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Average rating 4.53  · 
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Kyna Byrd
May 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is the product of the Gay Agenda your grandmother warned you about. If reading from the perspective of a transdude and his found queer family sounds unpleasant, this might not be the literary experience you are looking for. However, I urge you to try it anyway and fight through your [c]iscomfort. You might learn a thing or two.

Sim Kern's writing immediately pulled me into the character's body and allowed me to explore a world so close to my own. It is stark, it is dark, and it is rivo
I was sent this book as an advance copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

I had really high expectations for Depart, Depart! and I'm very happy to say they were fully met.

I'm always a little cautious when reading books involving climate change because after two climate change courses at uni I feel like I can easily be disappointed or see mistakes in the author's research or in their attitude towards what climate change is/does and how we can/s
I wish I could not shelve this book as contemporary.
Depart, Depart follows Noah, a Jewish trans man who ends up in a shelter after a hurricane devastates Houston. It's a story about what societal collapse brings out in people - about connection and grief and rage, and about how catastrophe puts even more of a target on marginalized people's backs.

I usually can't read stories about natural disasters, but this one worked for me - I couldn't stop reading it. Maybe it's because it's short, maybe it'
This was an interesting little novella that certainly wasn't without its flaws but was ultimately very readable. It's about a 20-something Jewish trans guy who is the sole survivor of his friend group and family from a climate disaster in Houston. He arrives at a makeshift shelter and immediately finds a queer corner consisting of a Latina trans woman, a nonbinary Asian person, plus a couple periphery queers. While there, he starts to see the ghost of his grandfather who survived the Holocaust. ...more
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

absolutely incredible. I was entranced from the first page and I couldn't put it down.
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Depart, Depart! is an unapologetically queer cli-fi touching on the very real potential of our current climate crisis in a this-shit-could-happen-in-the-near-future plot while showcasing the hate and discrimination LGBTQA+ folks deal with even during natural disasters.

Noah Mishner, as far as he knows, has lost everything. His home, his roommates, his family, following a massive flood brought on from Hurricane Martha. He ambles around the bright lights of the Dallas’ Mavericks’ arena, bleary eye
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this and honestly couldn't put it down until I finished it. Just an absolutely engrossing book, it's so great. ...more
Jacqueline Langille
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm a consultant for Stelliform Press, so I got to read this novella when it was first submitted, and I've been excited for this marvelous story to get out into the world for a while now. Read the other 5-star community reviews here on Goodreads for some plot points and insightful commentary. Depart, Depart! is a must-read. ...more
Georgia (thefictionfolio)
*I received an e-arc of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Depart, Depart! is a deeply moving and political story about gender, queerness, religion, global warming, bigotry, police corruption, gun control, the holocaust and so much more.… We follow Noah, who has just been rescued after a hurricane causes dangerous flooding in Houston, Texas. He's been evacuated to the Dallas Mavericks' basketball arena, which has been repurposed as a shelter. Noah, a gay
Kristen Shaw
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cli-fi, lgbtq2ia
"Depart, Depart" is an important and engrossing work of cli-fi unlike anything I have ever read before. Sim Kern packs a lot of social and political commentary into this volume, addressing vital concerns such as the social and institutional oppression of LGBTQ2IA+ and BIPOC communities, police brutality, and generational trauma. The plot is fast-paced and engaging.

One of the strongest components of the novella is Kern's exploration of the challenges of positioning oneself in relation to familia
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A lovely story of a young transgender man battling his demons, literally, and discovering what sort of person he wants to be. Also, there’s a killer flood and a roving band of gun-toting thugs. Exciting, heart-felt, transformative. An important story for queer folk and their allies. And, it includes fantastic Jewish representation, especially for people (some of my family included) who are from non-traditional Jewish backgrounds. A fast read, eye-opening and engaging.

I received a free eARC of th
Mar 10, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful story about a young Jewish trans man in a hurricane shelter in Texas, haunted by the ghost of his great-grandfather who'd escaped the Holocaust (not much of a spoiler - it's on the first page). All about finding identity and family (found and blood), and dealing with oppression. Great rumination on climate change too. I only wish there was more of it! Though I did like the real-time feel of it with such a short pace, I could have used an entire novel. ...more
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this hopeful, beautiful novel about solidarity, the development of identity, and the strength of community and love and acceptance. Noah is a survivor of a devastating hurricane that destroys Houston. Evacuated to Dallas, he's given shelter in an athletic arena, where neighborhoods of similar folks spring up. There he finds other trans people who are--like him--in need of medical care and emotional support. And to top it all off, Noah is being haunted by his great-grandfather ...more
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an in impactful story at the intersection of being trans and Jewish, set during a natural disaster caused by climate change in the heart of Texas.
Bek MoonyReadsByStarlight
This was a quick and interesting read. I love a book with good themes and this definitely delivered that. I really enjoyed the discussion around community, identity, and family. There were also a number of important themes layered on top of this: (very clearly) themes around climate, but also race, policing, and more. (view spoiler) I hope there is a sequel coming be ...more
Sapphic Shelves
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Stelliform Press & Netgalley for an arc for an unbiased review.

Kern tells the story of Noah Mishner who finds shelter after a major hurricane within the walls of the Dallas Mavericks' basketball area. Noah starts seeing visions of his absent grandfather, Abe, who had fled Nazi Germany as a boy. All the while he is just trying to survive in a micro-community full of the same aggressors before the hurricane happened. This tiny novella packs such a punch. There were a few anxiety induc
Roxie Voorhees
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Depart, depart quickly!"

Yes! Finally I have found an LGBT+ story that isn't about romance. I have longed for an interesting story that has a wide range of characters on the queer spectrum without it being about their love interest.

A hurricane destroys Texas (which is happening right now 😬) and Noah is spared only because of a mysterious, ghost-like materialization of his great-grandfather as a child. Abe is a Jewish child that survived the holocaust by being hidden in a duffel bag and boarding
May 15, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I’m sorry but I really didn’t like this one. The writing was okay, but it’s the narrative and even more the characters that totally turn me off with this book. For the characters this is more of a personal match that didn’t fit, as for the narrative I think there were too many subject trying to be forced I such a short novella and the queer aspect was way too present for me. I have nothing against any kind of genre of sexes preferences or whatever but I always find it weird to put it out up fron ...more
Sep 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Absolutely nothing more disappointing than to realize that a book you were eager to read is a novella. Novellas are fine, that's not the issue, it's the surprise novella that gets to me. But make no mistake, this isn't about anything but my poor reading skills when it comes to synopses and paying attention to the finer details. Because here's the deal, I WANT MORE OF THIS STORY! I think that Noah was amazing and I loved to hear his inner thoughts. In the Venn diagram of climate fiction, queer re ...more
Maxine Kaplan
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Nakedly aching Sim Kern's DEPART, DEPART! beautifully weaves together a ghost story about disaster, ancestry, trauma, found family, and ultimately what it means to survive with a whole soul. I couldn't put it down. ...more
Barbora Votavová
Mar 12, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Amazing novella combining things I love: dybbuks, resisting (neo-)Nazis, internal monologues about self and its biases and external debates about privilege. Thrilling climate fiction full of diversity, loved it.
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed the juxtaposition of current fears (climate catastrophe, fights for gender identity and the imperative to be utterly oneself) with historic ( a Jewish ghost from the time of Nazis. The journey of discovery that Noah takes us on is heartening - in a life of so much chance and circumstance, we get to choose some pretty incredible things, how we act, how we display love to family and friends, and that past choices don't define who we will be in the future.
The writing was strong, the char
Jan 15, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this for my book club and to be honest I more than likely wouldn't have picked this book up....ever. SOOOOO glad that I did; this book made me cry, think about every word written and then spiral into how f*cked up humanity can be. Do yourself a favor, read this book, it changed my thinking. ...more
May 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A tightly written, harrowing story I couldn't put down, Depart, Depart! hit both close to home (geographically) and far outside of it (religiously and gender identity-wise).

Part ghost story, part survival story, part bildungsroman, and all too real. Sim Kern manages to pack entire generations into a relatively small space with an ending that is not hopeful so much as determined. I want to go into further detail, but don't want to give anything away. If you're a fan of queer novellas along the l
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You should read Depart, Depart!

It’s about the groups and cultures that we’re a part of – those that we choose, and those that we’re born to and may prefer to leave behind.

It’s about the violence that finds us when we’re at our most vulnerable, and the demons (real and imagined) that force us to make difficult choices - not just of survival, but of who we’re going to be and what remains of us when we’re safe again.

It’s about the people that leave us when we need them most. And it asks what it say
Denise Ruttan
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review is also on

I received the novella DEPART, DEPART! by Sim Kern as an e-ARC (Advance Review Copy) several months ago in exchange for an honest review, and I am finally getting around to actually reviewing it. And I have one reaction to sum up my feelings upon finishing this book at last: I am stunned by this book’s force and magic, blown away by its relevance for our times.

I also feel a twinge of regret about this book, because there are those who will miss out on i
Robert Boyd
Nov 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature

I passed by this table and saw that one of the items on offer was a slim, squarebound book called Depart, Depart!. Pretty ambitious for a zine festival! I picked it up and read the first sentence: “A wave of humanity flows onto the court of the Dallas Mavericks basketball arena, wearing clothes people wear at 3:00 AM, clutching the things people grab when they have seconds before the world ends.” Wow. Sim Kern had just sold me a book.

The book imagines Hous
Philip Rutherford
Sep 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Depart, Depart! is a powerful and heartbreaking story about how people try to survive a disaster which is all too likely under climate change. After a hurricane devastates the city of Houston, Noah ends up in the Dallas Mavericks' basketball arena which has been turned into a shelter. He is a Jewish trans man and though he makes friends with other queer refugees, the shelter is also a place of bigotry and violence. As wildfires surround the city and food grows scarce the arena becomes a pressure ...more
Aaron McQuiston
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have the pleasure of reading and reviewing “Depart, Depart!” by Sim Kern. I phrase it this way because there is so much of this novella that is out of my scope of reality that I feel like it is an honor to be exposed to themes and lives that I know very little about. I mean I have never steered away from LGBTQ+ literature, movies, or the community, but “Depart, Depart!” feels different. This is a story that needs to be told, needs to be shouted, needs to be required.

Noah is in the middle of a
Shayney Hardcastle
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
*I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of the book*

This is quite a short read but you get thrown in to the story from the very first paragraph, making you become immersed straight away. This was actually quite clever as it didn't waste any time building up the world and you learned everything as you were reading. It is also a clever way to ensure that the reader is immediately intrigued and somewhat invested in the story, the events that
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