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Not Who But How single work   review  
Issue Details: First known date: 2021... 2021 Not Who But How
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'Last year, Craig Silvey’s third novel was published, his first since the hugely popular Jasper Jones in 2009. Honeybee, a story about a troubled trans teenager, Sam, and their unlikely friendship with the older widower Vic was considered, on publication, to be fairly offensive by many trans readers, myself included. Offensive because it is a cis man writing a trans teenager with all the predictable tropes: a troubled home life, suicide attempts, ambiguous language that evades gender until a big ‘reveal’. I watched the book come out, I watched it sell well, and I watched as not one reviewer engaged with it as a literary critic. No one considered it worthy of literary criticism, seemingly on the basis of its relationship to transness. I hate being a trans person when a book like this comes out, not because I feel unsettled in my identity, but because I hate being treated like I’m too fragile to understand the stakes of fiction by critics who aren’t assessing it as such.' (Introduction)

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Last amended 4 May 2021 10:18:00 Not Who But Howsmall AustLit logo Sydney Review of Books
Review of:
  • Honeybee Craig Silvey 2020 single work novel
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