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An Anthology of Fiction by Trans Women of Color

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This anthology is something new: a collection of stories written, edited, and self-published by trans women of color working collectively to equally share the fruits of our work. The stories in this anthology confront major themes and issues in the lives of trans women of color with profound honesty and attention toward helping one another heal. A story like “The Girl and This anthology is something new: a collection of stories written, edited, and self-published by trans women of color working collectively to equally share the fruits of our work. The stories in this anthology confront major themes and issues in the lives of trans women of color with profound honesty and attention toward helping one another heal. A story like “The Girl and the Apple,” by Jasmine Kabale Moore, not only unflinchingly describes the sense of ever-present danger that many of us feel in public spaces (including the hyper-vigilant condition of trauma that results from repeated exposure to intense scrutiny and violence) it also provides invaluable emotional support to other trans women of color by accurately reflecting, and therefore validating, our experiences and our perceptions of reality. A number of other stories explore their own kinds of traumas and begin to show us a way to survive them, a day at a time. In contrast, there are also stories in our anthology that take up a completely different subject matter – genre fantasies, memories and the past, self-acceptance, relationships with family and friends, romance and intimacy, and language itself – but they do so in the specific context of our lives as trans women of color.


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This anthology is something new: a collection of stories written, edited, and self-published by trans women of color working collectively to equally share the fruits of our work. The stories in this anthology confront major themes and issues in the lives of trans women of color with profound honesty and attention toward helping one another heal. A story like “The Girl and This anthology is something new: a collection of stories written, edited, and self-published by trans women of color working collectively to equally share the fruits of our work. The stories in this anthology confront major themes and issues in the lives of trans women of color with profound honesty and attention toward helping one another heal. A story like “The Girl and the Apple,” by Jasmine Kabale Moore, not only unflinchingly describes the sense of ever-present danger that many of us feel in public spaces (including the hyper-vigilant condition of trauma that results from repeated exposure to intense scrutiny and violence) it also provides invaluable emotional support to other trans women of color by accurately reflecting, and therefore validating, our experiences and our perceptions of reality. A number of other stories explore their own kinds of traumas and begin to show us a way to survive them, a day at a time. In contrast, there are also stories in our anthology that take up a completely different subject matter – genre fantasies, memories and the past, self-acceptance, relationships with family and friends, romance and intimacy, and language itself – but they do so in the specific context of our lives as trans women of color.

53 review for An Anthology of Fiction by Trans Women of Color

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shira Glassman

    I want to give some kudos to the stories I really liked out of this anthology: 1. "Lisa's Story: Zombie Apocalypse", by Gillian Ybabez. After the zombies have driven everyone out of town, Lisa ventures out into the world in search of extra water in case hers runs out. The story is woven through and through with the theme that for marginalized people--especially people marginalized on multiple axes--the everyday, realistic, and mortal terrors might actually feel more threatening than spec fic scar I want to give some kudos to the stories I really liked out of this anthology: 1. "Lisa's Story: Zombie Apocalypse", by Gillian Ybabez. After the zombies have driven everyone out of town, Lisa ventures out into the world in search of extra water in case hers runs out. The story is woven through and through with the theme that for marginalized people--especially people marginalized on multiple axes--the everyday, realistic, and mortal terrors might actually feel more threatening than spec fic scaries like zombies. 2. "Three Story Fragments" by Jamie Berrout. I wanted to show some appreciation for Fragment #2, in which the murder of a conservative government leader's trans daughter kicks off, eventually, legislation that strikes at the heart of the dangers facing trans women of color. It's a blueprint for a hopeful future and a bittersweet piece of wish-fulfillment. Carried in this story is the voice of a trans woman of color making it abundantly clear what she and her sisters need from the rest of us, so listen up. 3. Fragment #1, "Don't Go" from "Back Home: Three Short Stories" by Libby White, is a poignant vignette about someone having an affair with a married preacher. Fragment #3, "Under the Lights", about a woman regretting a talk show appearance, reminds me of the "How to Stay Friends" story in A Safe Girl To Love in that it shows from a transfeminine POV what cis women often sound like when we're trying to help but really kind of only making it a fifth of the way out the door with no shoes on. 4. "Space Hunters" by Lulu Trujillo is fluffy science fiction that included a f/f relationship and a pair of twins who are both nonbinary. So I expect pretty much everyone who follows me to want this one :P 5. "La Shooting Estrella" by Alma Díaz is my favorite story from this collection. A young trans woman is hanging out with her trans friends (of various genders) getting creative with her new drag persona when her dad comes home--with much better results than anticipated. I loved this. It's so warm and hopeful. The author also did a really good job with the bilingual dialogue. Also, here's some admiration for the great line "I wanted to let him know that if I had been given a choice I would have asked to be born in another dimension, where sissies conquered planets and enslaved nations of men hung like Samson," from the story "Lord, be a Femme" by Joss Barton. A lot of literary fiction goes over my head, so no insult intended to the stories I didn't review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    rosalind

    thanks to Jamie Berrout and the twoc anthology team for providing me with a review copy!!! so i went into this knowing it was going to be great and guess what: it's great. it's really refreshing to find a collection like this. and i like it not just because it's stories we need to hear, it's also really good. like tom leger's collection was REALLY hit or miss. some of those stories were great but some of them i was kind of like... have you heard of editing, dude? but this collection starts out wi thanks to Jamie Berrout and the twoc anthology team for providing me with a review copy!!! so i went into this knowing it was going to be great and guess what: it's great. it's really refreshing to find a collection like this. and i like it not just because it's stories we need to hear, it's also really good. like tom leger's collection was REALLY hit or miss. some of those stories were great but some of them i was kind of like... have you heard of editing, dude? but this collection starts out with a bang and just keeps at it. literally the first sentence is: Marjorie now spoke to herself in a voice that echoed sovereignty, but was not. like hot damn!! these stories are all really good, and they're edited perfectly - each story is in a perfect place in relation to all the other stories, which matters a lot more than people think. i'm not saying it's unilaterally wonderful and flawless, but it's frickin good, especially for something put together independently and self published online. my favorite stories were "the girl and the apple", "lisa's story: a zombie apocalypse", "space hunters", and saki's "untitled story". but that's not to say the other stories weren't also amazing!!! picking favorites out of this collection is like asking me what my favorite mountain goats album is. i'm gonna say transcendental youth but that doesn't make zopilote machine somehow less of a masterpiece. a few choice quotes, because that's really the best way to fully convey just how good this book is tbh. LORD, BE A FEMME! Be anything but a man, be anyone other than who I was told you were. Be a hyena’s clit. Be the mother of catamites. Be a bride thirsty for vengeance in a gown marbled in blood. I lie naked on cotton sheets in nude platforms and black nylon thigh-highs. My body is an altar, a dumpster, a crystal ball for binary sins and trans-femme exoticism. Joss Barton, Lord, Be a Femme I’m still deciphering through each piece of sadness, trying to see where everything stems from. With such twisted fate, I unfortunately have a handful of ailments which muddy together and, in my head, become one. I don’t know where pain begins and ends, it makes it difficult finding anything. Tomorrow I cannot simply wake up cisgender and revel in the contrasts to the day before – I do not know what it’s like to not be trans. Can I truly understand the impact it has on my wellbeing if it is the only truth I’ve had? Jeffrey Gill, Untitled Story God comes in like “I'm an infinite dimensional being immanent in all space,” and everyone laughs at what a loser he's being. The subject of our shared plight The Divinity and Me sadly leads to no solution for our current mess, for him today there will be no driving of money changers from the temple. When I was born there was nothing wrong with me a ticking little clock (maybe) but everyone has that. Opulent luminous persimmons go around the tables, sliced thin with plenty of pluots dried in the morning sun to follow. Saki, Untitled Story tl;dr read this book. they're coming out with an expanded print edition at some point too so keep an eye out! *a star knocked off for editing issues (grammar, typos, etc) which are pretty much to be expected outside of like, penguin-level editorial staffing, but still bug me.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bogi Takács

    I'm not reviewing this right now because I'm considering stories from it for reprinting, but this was a very cool anthology and I am soooo happy I preordered the upcoming expanded print edition (Nameless Woman). Source of the book: Jamie Berrout (Thank you so much!) I'm not reviewing this right now because I'm considering stories from it for reprinting, but this was a very cool anthology and I am soooo happy I preordered the upcoming expanded print edition (Nameless Woman). Source of the book: Jamie Berrout (Thank you so much!)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Minosh

    This anthology is honestly a blessing and I give thanks to Ellyn Peña and Jamie Berrout and to all of the contributing authors for making it exist in the world. The range of stories in here is incredible and I wish I were better at reviewing to convey that to you. The first sentence of the first story ("The Girl and the Apple" by Jasmine Kabale Moore: "Marjorie now spoke to herself in a voice that echoed sovereignty, but was not.") hit me straight in the gut and pretty much set the tone for what This anthology is honestly a blessing and I give thanks to Ellyn Peña and Jamie Berrout and to all of the contributing authors for making it exist in the world. The range of stories in here is incredible and I wish I were better at reviewing to convey that to you. The first sentence of the first story ("The Girl and the Apple" by Jasmine Kabale Moore: "Marjorie now spoke to herself in a voice that echoed sovereignty, but was not.") hit me straight in the gut and pretty much set the tone for what was to come. I'll try to offer a few comments. "Lord, be a Femme" entranced me with its gorgeous, (ir)reverent language framing marvelously on-point commentary. The second of Jamie Berrout's three stories reminds me strongly of her work in "Incomplete Short Stories and Essays," a fascinating exploration of a future in which trans women are protected rather than prosecuted by the law. "Collecting" was a delightful story that felt like it snuck up on me. Maybe it was the way the story is narrated from the outside, so you never get too close to the main characters, making the abrupt ending feels that much more real. Libby White's three short stories are, as another reviewer has commented, astounding in their ability to evoke an entire world and deep emotions in a tiny amount of space. "La Shooting Estrella" is heartwarming in its portrayal of unexpected acceptance yet it also raises the uncertain question of whether Alma's father will embrace her identity in its entirety; it's a rollercoaster of emotions perfect in a short story. Saki's untitled story...I'm not sure how to describe the narration but it's so unique and interesting. It has a static, detached narration that comes almost elliptically at the action-filled story being described and I could quote it for days. Like any anthology, there are uneven spots, but that's part of why this anthology is so important (I'm thinking here of Jamie Berrout's review of Redefining Realness and the demand for trans women of color to be perfectly "polished" for non-twoc readers). This book is an anthology of the work that is being created by trans women of color NOW, an enormous spectrum (ranging from slice of life to zombie apocalypse stories) that is not being boosted publicly anywhere else. As Peña and Berrout call for a sustained movement supporting trans women of color artists within and without the genre of transgender fiction as a whole, this anthology also presents a call to action to anyone who claims to care about trans women of color: to alter the world so that there are no longer only a few tokenized trans women of color are "allowed" to participate in the literary sphere (the status quo at white-dominated presses like Topside), to create a world where the voices of trans women of color exist in a multitude, in dialogue with each other on their own terms.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jada

    Never have I loved an anthology more than this one. I found this on Tumblr, just to start things off. I saw a post talking about the anthology and, being a gender questioning queer black reader, I had to read it. There aren't a lot of stories about LGBTQ characters in mainstream media (that aren't about white, gay men) and there are even less stories written by trans people of color ABOUT trans people of color. Sometimes in even the most "liberal" stories queer black people or Latinos are just m Never have I loved an anthology more than this one. I found this on Tumblr, just to start things off. I saw a post talking about the anthology and, being a gender questioning queer black reader, I had to read it. There aren't a lot of stories about LGBTQ characters in mainstream media (that aren't about white, gay men) and there are even less stories written by trans people of color ABOUT trans people of color. Sometimes in even the most "liberal" stories queer black people or Latinos are just minor side characters meant to be jokes or help the main character (read: white gay man) come to terms with himself. I am so happy that I found that post because if not I never would've read this excellent collection of anthologies. I loved every single story in this anthology. Some more than others (I feel like some stories could've been fleshed out more and others are do to personal genre tastes and culture) but I generally loved every single one. I loved the way that the stories had different writing styles. I loved how some of the writers made their stories short and simple but managed to evoke so much emotion from such little words. I loved how some of the writers made their stories long and intricate. I loved how the writers discussed the intersection of culture and identity, especially gender and racial identity, because most LGBTQ stories I've read completely ignore the fact that the culture you grow up in can greatly affect the way you see yourself. There were two stories that made me cry. Actually, I think it would count more as four. They were "Lord, be a Femme" and "Back Home: Three Short Stories". I had to stop midway through Barton's story because I felt it too much. I loved how Libby White could create an entire world in just a few short paragraphs and that I could feel the emotions that the characters were feeling. I hope that there are more stories like this out there. I hope that more people will read this.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Miri Castor

    A fantastic read! My favorites were Jamie, Alma, Gillian, and Jasmine's stories. I'm also really glad trans WoC authors put this together with other trans WoC . I just like the focus on WoC (as you may or may not have noticed). If there are anymore in the future, I'm definitely looking forward to them :D A fantastic read! My favorites were Jamie, Alma, Gillian, and Jasmine's stories. I'm also really glad trans WoC authors put this together with other trans WoC . I just like the focus on WoC (as you may or may not have noticed). If there are anymore in the future, I'm definitely looking forward to them :D

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cora

    This anthology advances an invaluable project: constructing a livable present and a possible future for trans women of color. Many of these stories convey the hypervigilance and terror of being a trans woman in public, an experience that I've seldom seen represented in fiction (apart from co-editor Jamie Berrout's excellent novel Otros Valles). However, the characters in these stories are not defined by fear. They push through it, continuing to live and thrive in hostile terrains. I found this as This anthology advances an invaluable project: constructing a livable present and a possible future for trans women of color. Many of these stories convey the hypervigilance and terror of being a trans woman in public, an experience that I've seldom seen represented in fiction (apart from co-editor Jamie Berrout's excellent novel Otros Valles). However, the characters in these stories are not defined by fear. They push through it, continuing to live and thrive in hostile terrains. I found this aspect of the collection very moving, as it reflected my own experiences as a trans woman of color and offered me novel ways to make sense of these realities. I was also struck by the importance of dreams, fantasy, and myth in this collection. Several stories stage a poignant kind of wish fulfillment: a dream-like conversation with an older trans woman who tells us we are already enough, or an unexpected tenderness from a loving if bewildered father. Others find a mythic glory within abjection: in "Lord, Be A Femme," a raw fuck drives the narrator to prophetic ecstasy. In nearly all cases, these stories allow the reader to dive into subjectivities often repressed and excluded from the mainstream, conjuring alternative worlds where TWOC can live and be celebrated rather than cast aside. Most importantly, this collection is a call to action; it is a first, and must not be the only. We have more work to do, and many more stories to tell. To quote the last story of the anthology, a playful and abstract tale of stealing desserts that shocks with moments of sudden urgency: "Just get ready and do it. All people are ready to do it. I am ready to do it. Do it. Jump in. We're all waiting."

  8. 5 out of 5

    pi

    I enjoyed some stories more than others, but I really liked this anthology because it confronts many important issues such as the fears and dangers trans women of color face everyday and everywhere, the prejudices of ignorant people, poverty, sex work, murder, the need to implement changes in legislation, mental health, self-acceptance, and how difficult is to love yourself in such an unwelcoming world, in a world that doesn't care. On the other hand, it also talks about how trans women of color I enjoyed some stories more than others, but I really liked this anthology because it confronts many important issues such as the fears and dangers trans women of color face everyday and everywhere, the prejudices of ignorant people, poverty, sex work, murder, the need to implement changes in legislation, mental health, self-acceptance, and how difficult is to love yourself in such an unwelcoming world, in a world that doesn't care. On the other hand, it also talks about how trans women of color support each other and help one another heal. This book is important and it's also important that readers support twoc authors.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    The stories here are hit and miss, as collected short story anthologies tend to be, but the ones that are good are incredibly beautiful and important. Most of the writing here is very personal and intimate, and these are the stories that are truly memorable, providing a small window into someone's life and feelings. The attempts at genre fiction (zombie apocalypse, scifi) are less successful and I liked them much less, but they're still valuable examples of diversity and will probably interest s The stories here are hit and miss, as collected short story anthologies tend to be, but the ones that are good are incredibly beautiful and important. Most of the writing here is very personal and intimate, and these are the stories that are truly memorable, providing a small window into someone's life and feelings. The attempts at genre fiction (zombie apocalypse, scifi) are less successful and I liked them much less, but they're still valuable examples of diversity and will probably interest someone.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rae

    A very varied collection of work, some of it very beautiful. I especially liked Catherine Kim's story 'Fidelity'; 'The Girl and the Apple' by Jasmine Kabale Moore; and 'La Shooting Estrella' by Alma Díaz. I hope to see more work from all of these writers in the future. A very varied collection of work, some of it very beautiful. I especially liked Catherine Kim's story 'Fidelity'; 'The Girl and the Apple' by Jasmine Kabale Moore; and 'La Shooting Estrella' by Alma Díaz. I hope to see more work from all of these writers in the future.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte Delgado Potratz

  12. 4 out of 5

    Pixie

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nadia

  14. 4 out of 5

    Carri

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

  16. 4 out of 5

    Reader of Books

  17. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  18. 5 out of 5

    Joelle

  19. 5 out of 5

    Serena

  20. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

  21. 5 out of 5

    kayla reed

  22. 4 out of 5

    Constance Augusta Zaber

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sam

  24. 5 out of 5

    Havelock

  25. 4 out of 5

    Abby

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    worthwhile, important. could have been edited better tho

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  28. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Meunier

  30. 5 out of 5

    leah the rock johnson

  31. 4 out of 5

    Charles Theonia

  32. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

  33. 4 out of 5

    Xian Xian

  34. 4 out of 5

    M.

  35. 5 out of 5

    Christina

  36. 4 out of 5

    K

  37. 5 out of 5

    Jesse Rice-Evans

  38. 4 out of 5

    sves yvonne

  39. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Fonseca

  40. 5 out of 5

    K. Jarboe

  41. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Thornton

  42. 4 out of 5

    Drew Kosturik

  43. 5 out of 5

    Akiva

  44. 4 out of 5

    RJ

  45. 4 out of 5

    CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian

  46. 4 out of 5

    Carri

  47. 4 out of 5

    Bäumchen

  48. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

  49. 5 out of 5

    Hayley

  50. 5 out of 5

    Kavya

  51. 5 out of 5

    Derek Marx

  52. 5 out of 5

    Will Nelson

  53. 5 out of 5

    Vee

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