Category: Transgender

Brenda Lozano: Brujas (Witches)

The latest addition to my website is Brenda Lozano‘s Brujas (Witches). We follow the story of three Mexican women. Paloma is, in fact, a muxe, assigned male at birth but who dresses and behaves in ways otherwise associated with women. She starts off as Gaspar, following the family tradition of being a curandero, a traditional healer, before continuing as Paloma. The book starts with her murder. We also follow Feliciana, related to Paloma, who becomes a successful curandera, both of physical ailments and disease of the soul. By the time she is twenty, she has three children and is a widow. The third woman is Zoe, a journalist from Mexico City, who is subject to sexism, though we also follow the story of her family, particularly her more colourful sister Leandra, who, among other things, sets fire to her school. All women, like others in this book, are subject to male violence but all three show how women live their lives.

Ta-wei Chi: 膜 (Membranes)

The latest addition to my website is Ta-wei Chi‘s 膜 (Membranes). This novel is a queer transgender climate-change Taiwanese novel set in the twenty-second century. Everyone now lives under the sea because of climate change. We follow the story of Momo, the top skincare specialist in T City. Momo lives a solitary life, seeing only her clients and giving them a membrane which she can, with a scanner, determine what they have been doing. She had a serious operation when she was seven – she was in hospital for three years – as a result of which she lost both her friend Andy (who we know to have been a cyborg) and also her penis (all is later explained). Since then she has fallen out with her mother, a successful publisher, and they have had no contact for twenty years. Now as she approaches thirty, mother reappears and Momo is determined to find out what happened. She and we are in for a shock. This is an excellent novel, dealing with Momo’s mental state, new technology and Momo’s mental state as well as climate change and the major plot twist.

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