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Announcements > Mar/Apr - Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl's Confabulous Memoir by Kai Cheng Thom

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message 1: by Emma (new)

Emma Watson (EmmaWatsonBookClub) | 47 comments Mod
Kai Cheng Thom, our next Our Shared Shelf author, describes herself as “a spoken word performer, lasagna lover, wicked witch, and community worker based in Toronto, Canada, a city that stands on unceded Indigenous territory.”

As if that isn't enough to make you curious… It's the book cover of her first novel, Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir that draws you in. It just LOOKS like a fun adventure. And indeed, it walks the tightrope between contradictions - serious and fun, fantasy and reality, poetry and prose, memoir and fiction, delicate and violent.

Set in the Street of Miracles, our protagonist (who happens to be a kung-fu expert and pathological liar) joins a gang of glamorous warrior femmes. It’s a story of broken hearts and healing sisterhoods. Thom says:

"The basic idea for Fierce Femmes was to create a loving homage
and critical re-imagining of the transgender memoir genre. For many
generations, trans writers have been pigeonholed into writing memoirs
that are intended to educate cis people about the reality of trans life.
They were denied opportunities to publish in more creative and
fantastical ways. Fierce Femmes is a response to all that, and a
role reversal of the stereotypically, tragic portrayal of trans women
characters - rather than simply experiencing the violence of a
transphobic world passively, my characters dare to fight back,
even when it takes them down some morally questionable paths."

Kai Cheng Thom weaves a story complete with mermaids, killer bees, kingdoms, ghosts and battles! Fairy tales like King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table captured my imagination as a child…the aliveness of Ovid’s Metamorphoses stories still resonate for me. I love that Thom uses both the otherworldly and the story archetypes of mysticism and transformation we know so well to tell us something new.

Many of us have been encouraged to see gender as binary. In some languages even inanimate objects are gendered! But you wouldn’t try and gender a unicorn, would you? It’s just a unicorn. I love that this book makes us transcend the ordinary and therefore transcend the usual dogma and boundaries our past makes us hold on to.

Naming the protagonist a notorious liar makes me think about the unreliable or mythical narrator…if the past is a tactile thing, we have the power to shape our stories, not just to others, but to ourselves. If we can reimagine our past, we can re-mold it; decide which truths we digest and interpret as being ours and which ones we can disregard. We can use metaphors, shapes and symbols to make our pain less of an unknown entity…less slippery. Does this give us more agency? I love the idea that not telling the story accurately or by rote might hold more of the truth of the experience in it for us.

With Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars, you really get the sense of creativity and invention that comes from becoming your own woman - an artist of your own identity. It may be a natural inclination to be nervous of what we do not know. Here is an author who builds us another world, expanding our view. This is a privilege. This is writing at its best. Enjoy being touched by the sparkle, warmth, community, violence and fierceness of the world Kai Cheng Thom has created.

Love,

EmmaXX


message 2: by Lucy (last edited Mar 05, 2019 09:40AM) (new)

Lucy Langford | 29 comments Can’t wait to read this one !! Super excited ❤️ Great choice :)


message 3: by Kate (new)

Kate Griffiths  (KateMarieGriffiths) | 71 comments Cannot wait to pick this up 🥰 📖


message 4: by Kathrin (new)

Kathrin | 25 comments That sounds like yet another amazing selection and I can't wait to read it. Thank you so much everyone!


Anna Francesca✨ (annafrancesca3) | 57 comments Looking to catch up with Our Shared Shelf so will start here and work my way through the other picks! This sounds like a great choice, can’t wait to receive my copy.


message 6: by I (last edited Mar 05, 2019 11:11AM) (new)

I comment (Icomment) | 28 comments Emma Watson: you are a good person. A girl always needs love. A trans girl too. I love trans people. Only love and respect can heal this world. I believe in God, I believe in a God of love. Continue loving, Emma Watson. You already found the way. The way is love. Love is the way against racism. Love is the way against intolerance. Love is the way against sexism.


message 7: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2374 comments Question everyone:
unceded territory of whom?


message 8: by Clarissa (new)

Clarissa Lunday | 42 comments The unceded territory of the indigenous people of Canada, meaning those who are native to Canada and not decedents of those who took over Canada


message 9: by Shana (new)

Shana Kaplan (sek1128) | 87 comments Just ordered it from the publisher. The book sounds very interesting and you’re right, Emma, the cover does make me more curious. Look forward to reading it.


message 10: by Sylvie (new)

Sylvie (Ploufofaveyron) | 27 comments Really interesting choice !! I need to educate myself about trans people. Can't wait to read this book ! Happy for this choice^^


message 11: by Leonie (new)

Leonie | 1 comments hey, I´m new and I´m from Austria. I just wanted to say that I´m really greatful to finally be part of this awesome group and I cant wait to read as many interesting, inspiring and great books as possible


message 12: by Jess (new)

Jess Henry | 1 comments Sounds amazing!


message 13: by MeerderWörter (last edited Mar 05, 2019 12:13PM) (new)

MeerderWörter | 2374 comments Clarissa wrote: "The unceded territory of the indigenous people of Canada, meaning those who are native to Canada and not decedents of those who took over Canada"

True, but there are 60 Indigenous languages spoken in the territory that Canada claims and even more First Nations.
Many more Nations than just "Indigenous people"
EDIT: You wouldn't say London is on the territory of the European people, you'd say English or British people...
The same goes for Turtle Island, as the people whose territory Toronto is on call it.


message 14: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2374 comments Leonie wrote: "hey, I´m new and I´m from Austria. I just wanted to say that I´m really greatful to finally be part of this awesome group and I cant wait to read as many interesting, inspiring and great books as p..."

Hiya there, fellow Austrian!


message 15: by Wilson (new)

Wilson La | 1 comments Love it! Can’t wait to read this ❤️


message 16: by Smash (new)

Smash | 1 comments MeerderWörter wrote: "Clarissa wrote: "The unceded territory of the indigenous people of Canada, meaning those who are native to Canada and not decedents of those who took over Canada"

True, but there are 60 Indigenous..."


It's the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples.


message 17: by Erin (new)

Erin | 1 comments You have piqued my interest. I’m looking forward to diving in and seeing what conversation ensues. 💕


message 18: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2374 comments Smash wrote: "MeerderWörter wrote: "Clarissa wrote: "The unceded territory of the indigenous people of Canada, meaning those who are native to Canada and not decedents of those who took over Canada"

True, but t..."


Yup.


message 19: by Krista (new)

Krista (k1tt5) | 1 comments Oh my goodness, I can’t wait to read this! I love the idea, that the main character is a pathological liar. I had a real problem with lying, when I was younger. In retrospect I see I had a need to mold the reality around me. These days I thankfully get my share from theatre and acting.
Very excited for this book!


message 20: by Krystal (new)

Krystal (Crazylittlebookpage) | 55 comments Smash wrote: "MeerderWörter wrote: "Clarissa wrote: "The unceded territory of the indigenous people of Canada, meaning those who are native to Canada and not decedents of those who took over Canada"

True, but t..."


Actually it's unceded territory of Ojibwa and Anishnabe


message 21: by Brigid (new)

Brigid  | 1 comments I've been wanting to read this. The cover is the most glorious thing I've ever seen.


message 22: by Bella (new)

Bella McInnis | 1 comments Sounds so interesting!! Toronto represent!


message 23: by Anna (new)

Anna | 2 comments Super excited to read this - thank you for the inspiration, Emma X


message 24: by Mariam (new)

Mariam Elkott (MariamElkott) | 1 comments Can’t wait to start!


message 25: by Julieta (new)

Julieta Sosa (JulietaCS) | 1 comments Look forward to read this one. First one for me.


message 26: by Leona (new)

Leona O’Bryant Cool beans.


message 27: by Casey (new)

Casey Williams (CaseyWilliams) | 1 comments Sounds amazing, need to keep up with OSS reads. Read one of the books from Novemeber/December. Definitely picking this one up! ❤️


message 28: by Simone (new)

Simone | 85 comments Sounds great and exciting !!!thank you emma for always opening our mind to something new, can't wait to read this book!!!!


message 29: by Ana (new)

Ana María | 1 comments So excited for this!

Who else is to tell us our own truth?

It sounds like someone’s putting to bed old ghosts ... looking forward to this pick.


message 30: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabethlk) | 21 comments I'm a big fan of some of Kai Cheng Thom's other work (A Place Called No Homeland and From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea are both really excellent), so I look forward to this one as I haven't read it yet. My library doesn't have a copy (which is why I haven't read it), so I've requested that they purchase one.


message 31: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 7 comments I’m so excited to read this one. Through shared shelf I found my favourite book and author, The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood. Thank you for this opportunity and you are my ultimate role model! Keep up the great work you’re doing Emma, and you’re the best.


message 32: by Ross (new)

Ross | 1444 comments another inspired and fascinating selection. have it on order now - its going fast.


message 33: by Maja (new)

Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨ (BibliophiliaDK) | 5 comments Sounds amazing, can't wait to dive into this one!


message 34: by Leonie (new)

Leonie | 1 comments Have been looking forward to the next book and it looks great! The cover and description really make me want to start right away! I love how OSS often pick books that I would be unaware of otherwise!


message 35: by Kavitha (new)

Kavitha (Kavithaslibrary) | 3 comments An interesting choice! I couldn't find this book at any of the libraries in my town and the neighboring towns. Its strange! I think I will order this one on amazon. Thank you for bringing this book into my radar.


message 36: by Megan (new)

Megan Cheang | 89 comments Gah! I can't find this book in the library!


message 37: by Jo, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Jo (Jo_9) | 319 comments Mod
Megan wrote: "Gah! I can't find this book in the library!"

Hi Megan, check this thread, see if it helps any :) https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 38: by Dustin (new)

Dustin | 28 comments Thank you, Emma. You and the entire OSS staff always make the best, most thought-provoking and mind-altering books.

As someone that appreciates stories which defy the "norm," I'm very excited about this one.


message 39: by Ragne (new)

Ragne | 4 comments Damn. Should have read this sooner. Now it's sold out everywhere, and it's not available as e-book or kindle.


message 40: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2374 comments Ragne wrote: "Damn. Should have read this sooner. Now it's sold out everywhere, and it's not available as e-book or kindle."

I am sure it will be restocked. Otherwise you can always try bying it from the publisher directly.


message 41: by Dustin (new)

Dustin | 28 comments Ragne wrote: "Damn. Should have read this sooner. Now it's sold out everywhere, and it's not available as e-book or kindle."

:((


message 42: by Florian (new)

Florian | 93 comments Ragne wrote: "Damn. Should have read this sooner. Now it's sold out everywhere, and it's not available as e-book or kindle."

Pdf version is available in the publisher's webiste.


message 43: by Helen, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Helen | 31 comments Mod
If you don't want to buy the pdf from the publisher, more copies are on their way to Europe/UK. Should be restocked by end of this week or early next week, we hear.

Thanks for your patience,
Helen


message 44: by Dustin (last edited Mar 10, 2019 02:35PM) (new)

Dustin | 28 comments Well, seeing as how OSS made me aware of this phenomenal sounding book, I simply had to share this great review.😊 It's spoiler-free, too!

Please feel free to share.

http://mtlreviewofbooks.ca/reviews/fi...


message 45: by Ragne (new)

Ragne | 4 comments Florian wrote: "Ragne wrote: "Damn. Should have read this sooner. Now it's sold out everywhere, and it's not available as e-book or kindle."

Pdf version is available in the publisher's webiste."


Thanks! Might wait until it's restocked, as pdf isn't the best way to read a book. I'll see how impatient I get.


message 46: by Ragne (new)

Ragne | 4 comments Helen wrote: "If you don't want to buy the pdf from the publisher, more copies are on their way to Europe/UK. Should be restocked by end of this week or early next week, we hear.

Thanks for your patience,
Helen"


Thank you! I'll check dayly to be sure I'll get one.


message 47: by Lorna (new)

Lorna Hill | 4 comments If anybody has read Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl's Confabulous Memoir by Kai Cheng Thom and would like to pass it on then I would love to read it :)


message 48: by Meelie, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Meelie (meelie_) | 1388 comments Mod
Hi Lorna!

Check the Pay it Forward thread, we always set one up for every new book! 😊

Hope that helps,

Meelie


message 49: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 174 comments Can't wait to get a hold of a copy and dive into this one! It looks really interesting and outside of anything I've read so far.


message 50: by Dustin (new)

Dustin | 28 comments Ashley wrote: "Can't wait to get a hold of a copy and dive into this one! It looks really interesting and outside of anything I've read so far."

To me, this book sounds unlike else out there.😊


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