Friday, April 14, 2006

A Slew of New Stuff Just Came In...

We just got in a ton of new, and new-to-us, titles. In the fiction area, we just got in Michelle Tea's first novel, Rose of No Man's Land, and Leslie Feinberg's latest, Drag King Blues.

14-year-old Trisha Driscoll, the protagonist in Rose of No Man's Land, is a hungry machine, taking in her hometown of Mogsfield, Massachusetts--a place that has surrendered to neon signs, theme restaurants, and cookie-cutter chain stores. Cynical but naive, Trisha observes the disappointing world from the ignored perspective of a teenager: creepy guys, the unfathomable sadness of the elderly, illegal tattoos, and the wild kingdom of mall culture. Then Trisha links up with a chain-smoking, physically stunted mall rat named Rose, and her life shifts into manic overdrive. A whirlwind exploration of poverty and dropouts, and a furious love story between two weirdo girls, brimming with snarky observations and soulful wonderings on the dazzle-flash emptiness of contemporary culture.

Drag King Dreams , from the best-selling author of Stone Butch Blues, is the story of Max Rabinowitz, a butch lesbian bartender at an East Village club where drag kings--dykes dressed as men--perform. A veteran of the women's and gay movement, Max's mid-life crisis hits in the midst of the post-9/11 world. Max is lonely, uncertain about her future, and fearful of America's future, with only a core group of friends to turn to for reassurance. But Max is shaken from her crisis when her friend Vickie, a transvestite, is murdered. As the community of cross-dressers, drag queens, lesbian and gay men, and "genderqueers" of all kinds stand up together in the face of this tragedy, Max taps into the activist spirit she thought had disappeared--and for the first time in years discovers hope for her future.

We also got in Stories Care Forgot: An Anthology of New Orleans Zines. For years the New Orleans punk and zine community has thrived, producing beautifully rendered volumes of stories and artwork. Over the years these authors have poured their hearts out and shared their thoughts and opinions on music, politics, bikes, gentrification, gender, class and, of course, the city itself. Reprinted here in their original format are selections from over a dozen zines including: Chainbreaker, Nosedive, Crude Noise, Rocket Queen, Emergency, I Hate This Part of Texas, and Chihuahua and Pitbull, as well as author introductions about their experiences during and after Hurricane Katrina. Many of the originals have been lost or destroyed and in the wake of Hurricane Katrina; this book serves not only as a preservation of writing and artwork, but also as an attempt to aid in rebuilding the city that inspired and shaped this body of work. Proceeds from Stories Care Forgot will be split amongst grassroots New Orleans groups.


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