Books

"I recall my file of e-mails from reporters, academics, filmmakers, and activists who want me to introduce them to sex workers so that they can tell their stories, or organise them, without an understanding that they -we- are also reporters, academics, filmmakers, and activists, and are doing it ourselves."

-Melissa Gira Grant, Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work

"My dark hair makes my eyes more cat-like and brighter in hue. More Eastern European. Less American. I am starting to make sense to them. I am taking off all my American skin. Killing my ability to pass for the Middle American and quiet and from here. Instead I am from the bloki again. Soviet-built and dooming."

-Karolina Waclawiak, How To Get Into the Twin Palms

Sitting in Taco Bell, I thought about how in my head, at the park, while glancing up at the clouds puffing innocent shapes in the sky, I had addressed her. I had addressed the ghost who’d haunted me for more than a decade. “I’m not glad you’re dead, but I’m glad I’m alive,” I’d told her. “I’m glad I can keep feeling sunlight fade my tattoos. I’m glad I can keep inhaling the corticosteroid nasal spray that relieves my allergy symptoms. I’m glad I can keep on listening to right-wing talk radio for fun.”
I bowed my head at the chalupa on the tray before me. In the context of our morning pilgrimage, it assumed the status of holy object. Relic. I peeled off its paper wrapper.
My fingers parted its doughy lips. Sealed by sour cream, they made that noise some girls make when you open them.
A woman was sacrificed so that I might sit here, autopsying my chalupa.
I noticed body parts floating inside the gooey rice: two coarse strands of hair.
I was alive and she was dead, so I ate. I ate my lunch, hair and all. We are all cannibals.

Myriam Gurba, Mean

The first time she told her mother to fuck off, her mother was sitting on the dirty blue velvet couch, reading the newspaper. Polly walked into the living room, excited. Her mother didn’t look up. There was a bottle of beer, open, mostly full, sweating on the table next to her.
“Fuck you!” Polly said, clenching and unclenching her fists.
Her mother looked up, alarmed, but without missing a beat, she whacked Polly across the face with the newspaper.

—Paula Bomer, “Down the Alley” from Inside Madeleine

"I myself have had no liking for violence and have always enjoyed the pleasures of singing and cooking. I am fond of kitchenware, desserts, books, scarves, cardigans and even cologne and lip balm. I like a man’s suit, but I like it worn by a woman."

-Filip Noterdaeme, The Autobiography of Daniel J. Isengart