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Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars by Kai Cheng Thom - Review

Thursday, March 12, 2020


My friend Lucinda gave this to me for my birthday and said it was really good, so I was looking forward to getting to it. I picked it up one night in bed and ended up reading about a third of it before I went to sleep. It really grabbed me.

Kai is a trans woman and this book is kind of a memoir about her running away from her home town - named only as Gloom - to the big city, where she lands among her trans sisters on the Street of Light and Miracles. She is barely 18, and she finds refuge among women like her. She gets dresses and red shoes, and when another trans woman is found dead, she forms a vigilante gang with other femmes to try to get their own back.

There's poems from her notebook and letters home to her sister. There's some history of her as a teen, but not tons. There are fantastical elements, when things that aren't natural happen, and I found them really interesting, and well written, even though they take this book out of a plain memoir into something else.

It's a short book but I really liked it, and felt like I'd learnt something by the end. Kai has some really lovely descriptions and use of words, and I felt like I could picture the Street of Light and Miracles perfectly. I'm giving this four out of five.

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