Thursday, 12 May 2016

BOOK REVIEW: NEVADA BY IMOGEN BINNIE



I have been racking my brains about how I discovered this book and I just have no idea, to be honest. I am going to take a guess and say that I probably bumped into writer Imogen Binnie on the Super Information Clusterfuck Highway that is Twitter. It's a safe bet. After reading Nevada, I am sure glad that I did. It tells the story of Maria, a 29 year old trans woman, who lives in New York, works a shitty dead end job and is stuck in a dead end relationship. After losing the job, and the relationship, she steals her newly ex girlfriend's car and with only a bag of clothes and a bag of heroin for company, loses New York in the rear view mirror.

Being a 29 year old myself, and also recently out of long term a relationship, and also kind of a meandering mess, I related to the character of Maria so hard. Being a cisgender guy, I have no frame of reference to the transgender part, but this isn't a story about a character who is struggling with being trans. In fact, being trans is the one thing in her life that Maria has nailed, it is everything else that she is wrestling with; figuring out who she is and what she wants out of life. Staring down the barrel of thirty, staying true to punk rock sensibilities, saving money or spending it all on drugs and alcohol... These are daily struggles in my own life and I am guessing (hoping) that many 29 year olds struggle with that shit, too. Society tells you that you are supposed to have your shit together by this age, so I guess reading this book was comforting to me in that respect. I AM NOT ALONE! Having said that, I am not brushing the transgender aspects of Nevada under the carpet, what it is to be a transgender woman in modern America is a huge part of the story, and it is super informative and interesting without being alienating or excluding to dumb cis guys from England.

This was an incredibly easy book to read, the prose is written in a very informal, conversational style which I loved. I imagine it would possibly be jarring to some, possibly to older folk(?) who are used to a more conventional format, but I found it totally refreshing. I highly recommend this book to anybody in their late 20s who is struggling with the WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING aspect of their life, also I am sure if you are in your early 20s and struggling with gender issues, then this will be really helpful to you. Basically everybody should read it, because it is a really fucking good book and I am glad that I randomly discovered it!

Buy it right now from Topside Press.

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