CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian's Reviews > Depart, Depart!

Depart, Depart! by Sim Kern
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bookshelves: american, fiction, jewish, queer, science-fiction, trans

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.

At times this was too didactic and obvious for my tastes, plus I didn't care for the present tense narration. But as I said I did find it very readable, and I appreciated the culturally specific speculative aspect (even if it was overexplained) and the fact that the author wasn't afraid to tackle rifts within the LGBTQ community.

The rich white cis gay dudes peacing out without having anyone their contact info once they got a hold of their money again was chillingly realistic. The argument about privilege between Elena, a Mexican trans woman who in her own words "doesn't pass", and Malone, an AFAB nonbinary person read by strangers as a woman, was something I haven't seen much of in fiction but certainly in real life, so that was cool to see. Also, they move past the argument and remain found family!

But I wonder if this white protagonist is being set up as the good white queer by not abandoning his POC friends. I don't think it's quite a white saviour complex, but it feels a bit iffy to me.
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Reading Progress

November 28, 2020 – Started Reading
November 28, 2020 – Shelved
November 28, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read
November 28, 2020 – Shelved as: american
November 28, 2020 – Shelved as: fiction
November 28, 2020 – Shelved as: queer
November 28, 2020 – Shelved as: jewish
November 28, 2020 – Shelved as: science-fiction
November 28, 2020 – Shelved as: trans
November 28, 2020 – Finished Reading

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