Imprint:Arsenal Pulp Press - Vancouver
Dimensions:8in x 6 x 0.8 in | 410 gr
Page Count:278 pages
Longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize
Award-winning novelist Casey Plett (Little Fish) returns with a poignant suite of stories that center transgender women.
Casey Plett's 2018 novel Little Fish won a Lambda Literary Award, the Firecracker Award for Fiction, and the Amazon First Novel Award. Her latest work, A Dream of a Woman, is her first book of short stories since her seminal 2014 collection A Safe Girl to Love. Centering transgender women seeking stable, adult lives, A Dream of a Woman finds quiet truths in prairie high-rises and New York warehouses, in freezing Canadian winters and drizzly Oregon days.
In "Hazel and Christopher," two childhood friends reconnect as adults after one of them has transitioned. In "Perfect Places," a woman grapples with undesirability as she navigates fetish play with a man. In "Couldn't Hear You Talk Anymore," the narrator reflects on her tumultuous life and what might have been as she recalls tender moments with another trans woman.
An ethereal meditation on partnership, sex, addiction, romance, groundedness, and love, the stories in A Dream of a Woman buzz with quiet intensity and the intimate complexities of being human.
· Casey Plett won wide acclaim with her novel Little Fish in 2018, winning the Lambda Literary Award for transgender literature, the Firecracker Award for Fiction, and the $60,000 Amazon First Novel Award in Canada. It has sold over 15,000 copies in North America and was reprinted for the fourth time in 2020. A Dream of a Woman is Casey’s follow up: a poignant story collection that, like Little Fish, centers the complex, lived-in lives of transgender women.
· The characters in A Dream of a Woman are complicated and “real”; they struggle with self-confidence, various addictions, and troubled relationships. They deal with the wounds of past trauma, and the ghosts of ruined expectations. Throughout, these women find dignity and resolve in finding their sense of self.
· In Casey’s own words: “I wanted to explore trans women in relationships or trying to find relationships, which were in the background of my first two books but not front and center. In some ways, this book feels like it closes a trilogy of sorts: my first book A Safe Girl to Love was about twentysomething trans women who’ve just transitioned and are losing their minds; my second, Little Fish, was about a thirty-year-old trans woman who was completely in stasis. A Dream of a Woman is about trans women in their thirties who are moving on and attempting to create solid adult lives and companionship for themselves (with mixed success, of course). A Dream of a Woman feels like I’m putting the worlds in the first two books to bed, at least a while, in a peaceful, positive way. I’m sure I’ll likely write another book of fiction in my life, and it will probably have trans characters … yet I’m already feeling like whatever I write next will be on different themes, topics, worlds. Finishing this book felt like it might be the last thing I have to say through fiction about fucked-up young trans women for some time.”
· Casey will participate in numerous online events with bookstores throughout the fall.
· In addition to her various awards, Casey was named a 2020-21 Hodder Fellow by Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts (she will complete her fellowship in June 2021). Hodder Fellows may be writers, composers, choreographers, visual artists, performance artists, or other kinds of artists or humanists who have, as the program outlines, “much more than ordinary intellectual and literary gifts.”
· Casey is being pitched to festivals in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Victoria, and Ottawa. She will also do online events with other authors.
Casey Plett is the author of the novel Little Fish and the short story collections A Dream of a Woman and A Safe Girl to Love, and co-editor of the anthology Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers (Topside Press). She wrote a column on transitioning for McSweeney's Internet Tendency and her essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, Maclean's, The Walrus, Plenitude, the Winnipeg Free Press, and other publications. She is the winner of two Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Fiction, winner of the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, and she received an Honour of Distinction from The Writers' Trust of Canada's Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers. She lives in Windsor, Ontario.
Plett tells beautiful stories of trans women as they exist in the world: tangible, fallible, tender and hardened. -Xtra
Casey Plett transports the reader from Pilot Mound, Manitoba, to Portland, Oregon, and back, tying together alternating perspectives and places with direct and detailed prose that's both heart-rending and heartwarming. -Chatelaine
I've always admired Plett's ability to capture the tenderest and most complicated intimacies between characters. Exploring addiction, loss, consent, and shifting desires, each story in her extraordinary new collection is somehow even more tender and emotionally complex than the last. - Megan Milks, The Rumpus
In A Dream of a Woman, connecting to yourself and the world doesn't seem to come from checking in with yourself and your body again and again. It comes from losing yourself in another and in the process, stumbling along the way into a closer relationship with your body and the world. -Maisonneuve
Plett's voice is strong and fully realized in this collection. The language is tight and matter-of-fact, but also beautiful and sweeping in a way that makes you forget it's there. Plett wields language masterfully to share many vastly different trans experiences with readers. -Prairie Fire
Plett has a characteristic style that manages to merge tenderness with Prairie toughness - a style on display in these stories of trans women seeking something - groundedness, maybe, but that dreamlike quality of desire, too. -The Globe and Mail ("The Globe 100")
Plett's trademark skills at authentic characterization, evocative setting, and insight into the lives of trans women are on full display in this superb collection of short stories. The stories crackle with quiet complexity as they cover topics like a woman returning to her Mennonite roots while visiting a lover and another leaving the Portland's queer utopia to transition in New York's anonymity. -Autostraddle ("Best Queer Books of the Year")
A Dream of a Woman is Plett's best work to date and reminds us that she is one of our finest writers. There is something powerfully intimate about the voices of the characters paired with the matured texture of the prose. Told with exquisite beauty and a lack of pretense, these emotionally vibrant stories come alive in their quiet moments. -Literary Review of Canada
Both bittersweet and beautiful, Plett writes perfectly imperfect characters that make you feel less alone. -The Independent (UK)