I’m a big fan of Ivan E. Coyote. That fact that she writes about gender from a queer perspective already puts her on my “likely to enjoy” list, and then this video of hers (after the jump) started circulating. I posted it on Feministing a while back, but it deserves a reposting. I loved this video, watched it at least ten times since finding it.
So when I received a review copy of Ivan’s newest book of stories from Arsenal Pulp Press, Missed Her, I was psyched to see that story included.
Ivan’s writing has this refreshingly simple style to it. While many folks who right write about gender (myself included) tend to do a lot of analyzing, theorizing and philosophizing, Ivan is what she sets out to be: a storyteller. She talks about life as she lives it, as a butch who gets perceived as male sometimes, as female sometimes. As a Canadian, as a member of a big family, as a Yukoner. Her stories are simple, but underneath their simplicity lies such a powerful gender analysis.
One thing that this collection of stories lacks is the rhythm, the vibrancy that comes with hearing Ivan tell the stories herself. They ask to be heard, to be read out loud. I happened to also have a copy of her newest CD, Only Two Reasons, which includes Ivan herself reading the stories from this collection out loud. Stories are meant to be told, and Ivan’s work is no exception.
The good news is, though, that if you listen to enough of her YouTube videos, you can almost hear her reading the stories in your head as you plow through the book.
You can purchase the book here through Arsenal Pulp Press.