On Community

By (author): Casey Plett

Shortlisted for the 2024 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Nonfiction • Finalist for the 2024 Leslie Feinberg Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature • One of CBC Books‘ Canadian Nonfiction to Read in the Fall • A Tyee Best Book of 2023 • A CBC Books Best Nonfiction Book of 2023 • A Hamilton Review of Books Best Book of 2023 • An Autostraddle Best Queer Book of 2023

We need community to live. But what does it look like? Why does it often feel like it’s slipping away?

We are all hinged to some definition of a community, be it as simple as where we live, complex as the beliefs we share, or as intentional as those we call family. In an episodic personal essay, Casey Plett draws on a range of firsthand experiences to start a conversation about the larger implications of community as a word, an idea, and a symbol. With each thread a cumulative definition of community, and what it has come to mean to Plett, emerges.

Looking at phenomena from transgender literature, to Mennonite history, to hacker houses of Silicon Valley, and the rise of nationalism in North America, Plett delves into the thorny intractability of community’s boons and faults. Deeply personal, authoritative in its illuminations, On Community is an essential contribution to the larger cultural discourse that asks how, and to what socio-political ends, we form bonds with one another.

AUTHOR

Casey Plett

Casey Plett is the author of A Dream of a Woman, Little Fish, and A Safe Girl to Love, the co-editor of Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy From Transgender Writers, and the publisher at LittlePuss Press. She has written for the New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, the Guardian, Globe and Mail, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, the Winnipeg Free Press, and other publications. A winner of the Amazon First Novel Award and the Firecracker Award for Fiction, and a two-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award, her work has also been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.


Reviews

Praise for On Community

On Community—a book-length personal essay—delves into the different ways we imagine our communities and the people who form them.”
—Globe and Mail

“Don’t expect to walk away from On Community with easy answers. Plett refuses to explore the titular concept ‘blithely’ or to simplify it ‘to the point of untruth.’ Splitting it into practical and theoretical definitions is ‘too simple.’ Instead, she weaves together a nuanced narrative that unpacks the term’s intricacies while maintaining its importance.”
—Literary Review of Canada

“A tightly woven, academic and literary brain dump of concepts and notions, posits and prompts, with a flight of challenging questions.”
—The Miramichi Reader

“Plett uses her firsthand experiences to eventually reach a cumulative definition of community and explore how we form bonds with one another.”
—CBC Books

“Plett ruminates on the importance of community in succinct, snappy prose.”
—Winnipeg Free Press

“Amidst … definitions and (re)interpretations of ‘community,’ Casey Plett truly embodies the nuances, spits on assumptions and holds space for the real, the ugly, the bittersweet and everything in between.”
—The Ex Puritan

“With humour and verve, Plett cuts through the platitudes often associated with how we talk about community. She offers a welcome, incisive analysis of power and belonging that feels as lived-in as it is hopeful.”
—The Tyee

“Plett’s essay is a thoughtful, rich and engaging unpacking of the complexity behind simplistic ideas, and a clear-eyed consideration of what really is a universal human experience.”
—Pickle Me This

“Plett reflects on her Mennonite roots, trans literature, nationalism, Silicon Valley, and the idea of family, in this consideration of how and why we manage to live together at all.”
—Quill and Quire

Praise for Casey Plett

“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.”
Autostraddle (“Best Queer Books of the Year”)

“Plett tells beautiful stories of trans women as they exist in the world: tangible, fallible, tender and hardened.
Xtra

“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

“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.
Globe and Mail

“Both bittersweet and beautiful, Plett writes perfectly imperfect characters that make you feel less alone.”
The Independent (UK)


Awards

  • Leslie Feinberg Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature 2024, Short-listed
  • Leslie Feinberg Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature 2024, Short-listed
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    Details

    Dimensions:

    184 Pages
    7.75in * 4.5in * .3in
    1.00gr

    Published:

    November 07, 2023

    Publisher:

    Biblioasis

    ISBN:

    9781771965774

    Book Subjects:

    SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General

    Featured In:

    All Books

    Language:

    eng

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