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CORPORATE - Penguin Random House

I'm Afraid of Men
By (author): Vivek Shraya
9780735235939 Hardcover English General Trade SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies Aug 28, 2018
$17.95 CAD
Active 4.94 x 7.15 x 0.46 in 96 pages Penguin Canada
OLA Evergreen Award 2019, Nominated
“Cultural rocket fuel.”—Vanity Fair

“Emotional and painful but also layered with humour, I’m Afraid of Men will widen your lens on gender and challenge you to do better. This challenge is a necessary one—one we must all take up. It is a gift to dive into Vivek’s heart and mind.”—Rupi Kaur, bestselling author of The Sun and Her Flowers and Milk and Honey

A trans artist explores how masculinity was imposed on her as a boy and continues to haunt her as a girl—and how we might reimagine gender for the twenty-first century.

Vivek Shraya has reason to be afraid. Throughout her life she’s endured acts of cruelty and aggression for being too feminine as a boy and not feminine enough as a girl. In order to survive childhood, she had to learn to convincingly perform masculinity. As an adult, she makes daily compromises to steel herself against everything from verbal attacks to heartbreak.

Now, with raw honesty, Shraya delivers an important record of the cumulative damage caused by misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia, releasing trauma from a body that has always refused to assimilate. I’m Afraid of Men is a journey from camouflage to a riot of colour and a blueprint for how we might cherish all that makes us different and conquer all that makes us afraid.

RELEVANT AND TIMELY: Masculinity is a consistent topic of discussion online and in the news, particularly with the latest developments in Hollywood, and there’s increasing focus on inclusion of trans people in politics, entertainment, fashion, and education.

MEDIA DARLING: Vivek gets a lot of attention for her powerful messaging and star quality. Her frequent public appearances and prolific artistic outputs keep her in the headlines.

DIVERSITY: Vivek is a trans person of colour who we’re extremely proud to publish.

ONE-SITTING READ: We’ve seen a rise in the popularity of small books on urgent contemporary issues, such as racism and feminism.


VIVEK SHRAYA is an artist whose body of work crosses the boundaries of music, poetry, fiction, visual art, and film. A Publishing Triangle Award winner, her books include even this page is white,The Boy & the Bindi, and She of the Mountains. Shraya is one half of the music duo Too Attached and founder of the publishing imprint VS. Books. She teaches creative writing at the University of Calgary.

Author Residence: Calgary, Alberta

Author Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta

Marketing: Postering in Toronto

Advertising with videos from Vivek

Podcast advertising

Teacher’s guide

I’m Afraid of Men merchandise (i.e. Buttons, t-shirts) in support of charity

US Plans:

Advance mailing to trade publications including Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus Reviews

Work with US based publicist to secure national media including NPR, The Advocate, The Millions, Vice, Buzzfeed, New York Times and the Associated Press

Unique author video content

Special merchandise for BEA and promotion (pins)

Reading Group Guide for High School Teacher

Advance mailing to YouTube influencers

Social Advertising to include Twitter & Instagram / Book Riot 

Publicity: Early media interest from Quill & Quire (cover story), Toronto Life, ELLE Canada and Flare

Pitching for feature interviews and reviews in national and regional print outlets and online as well as on-air interviews for national and regional TV and radio (The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Maclean’s, Chatelaine, CBC Arts, CBC q, The Social, The Marilyn Denis Show)

Building an extensive Fall 2018 events tour

Confirmed tour to Toronto the week of on-sale for media and events including a book launch

Early interest for events in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, St. Catherines thus far

Pitching for Fall literary festivals across the country; interest thus far from Victoria and Kingston with more invites to come

“In I’m Afraid of Men, Vivek Shraya owns and exposes her own history with masculinity and offers a way out of this harmful and old-fashioned binary we call gender. My head nodded along quietly in agreement any time I wasn’t wiping away rising tides of tears. Vivek Shraya is a superior voice, and this book is essential reading for everyone.”

—Tegan Quin of Tegan and Sara


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