Nevada

by Imogen Binnie

Paperback, 2022

Description

This program is read by the author. "Nevada is a book that changed my life: it shaped both my worldview and personhood, making me the writer I am. And it did so by the oldest of methods, by telling a wise, hilarious, and gripping story." -Torrey Peters, author of Detransition, Baby A beloved and blistering cult classic and finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Fiction finally back in print, Nevada follows a disaffected trans woman as she embarks on a cross-country road trip. Maria Griffiths is almost thirty and works at a used bookstore in New York City while trying to stay true to her punk values. She's in love with her bike but not with her girlfriend, Steph. She takes random pills and drinks more than is good for her, but doesn't inject anything except, when she remembers, estrogen, because she's trans. Everything is mostly fine until Maria and Steph break up, sending Maria into a tailspin, and then onto a cross-country trek in the car she steals from Steph. She ends up in the backwater town of Star City, Nevada, where she meets James, who is probably but not certainly trans, and who reminds Maria of her younger self. As Maria finds herself in the awkward position of trans role model, she realizes that she could become James's savior-or his downfall. One of the most beloved cult novels of our time and a landmark of trans literature, Imogen Binnie's Nevada is a blistering, heartfelt, and evergreen coming-of-age story, and a punk-smeared excavation of marginalized life under capitalism. Guided by an instantly memorable, terminally self-aware protagonist-and featuring a new afterword by the author-Nevada is the great American road novel flipped on its head for a new generation. A Macmillan Audio production from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.… (more)

Status

Available

Call number

813.6

Publication

FSG Adult (2022), 288 pages

Media reviews

User reviews

LibraryThing member banjo123
I see that the other raters for this book gave it 4 or 5 stars, whereas I am going with one and a half. Maybe they are more discerning than I?

This books starts with an uncomfortable sex scene, and then moves into the main character’s thoughts. Maria is a trans woman living in NYC, in a
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disintegrating lesbian relationship, and unhappily working in a bookstore. She seems very immature and self-centered. Her thoughts are mainly about how hard it is to be a trans woman. Also, there are lots of drugs and alcohol in the book.

For a while, I thought that my own issues about trans women, or CIS privilege might have caused my impatience with the narrator, but then I came to this passage, and decided that it’s just not a good book.

“So Maria is aware that heroin totally rules. Like, being asleep rules, and being high on heroin is like being asleep times twenty. You just feel at rest. Mostly she would snort five or six dollars worth of heroin and lay face down on a carpet somewhere, hoping not to be disturbed, eventually puking somewhere. “

If that passage is intriguing to you, maybe read the book. Otherwise, don’t bother.
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LibraryThing member castiron
This falls under "well-written; glad I read it; not my thing".

If I were more of a literary fiction reader, I'd probably love this book. Maria's voice and characterization are very strong, as are the other occasional POV characters, and the views of Maria from the outside are an interesting
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counterpoint to her own self-view. It's an excellent look at the lives of these characters and at some of what made them the people they are.

However, my reading preference is for stories where there's some resolution, some clear change and growth. I'm not convinced that any of these characters are any different at the end of the book than they were at the beginning; they realize things about themselves, but I don't believe they'll actually do anything with this self-knowledge. Valid artistic choice; just not my thing.

So, I'd heartily recommend this book to people who like lit fic, complex characters, slice-of-life stories, and ambiguous endings; I'd also recommend it if you want to read a story from the POV of a transgender character.
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LibraryThing member mappings
I wondered what the author was doing inside my brain. Yes, the ending is unsatisfying, but real life also lacks satisfying endings. I think that's the point.
LibraryThing member elenaj
Pretty good throughout, with compelling and realistic characters, but then it just. ends. Mid-road trip. No resolution at all.
LibraryThing member Citizenjoyce
There's an interview with the author at the end of the audiobook. She talks about the wonderful effect the book had on many trans people and how she's had many people tell her it gave them hope. That amazes me because the main character is a complete narcissist and a bad friend, lover and employee.
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She steals her ex-girlfriend's car and offers heroin to a young, underage man she has just met. The book does make some interesting observations which I guess is what people identify with; however, think the character gives trans people a bad name. Perhaps they're just happy to have a character whose gender and struggles they can identify with.
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LibraryThing member kylekatz
2014. A trans woman named Maria works at The Strand and lives in Brooklyn with her cis dyke gf. They break up, possibly because Maria is not able to stay present after the trauma of growing up trans and having to deny it. She gets fired from her job, steals her ex’s car and drives to Nevada. She
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manages to have a number of epiphanies while still seeming like such a mess. Real, complicated trans personhood. No neat endings here. Lots of analysis of transness without feeling overly didactic. Gave me a lot to think about.
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LibraryThing member caedocyon
More later! I'm torn between 4 and 5 stars. I usually don't enjoy this kind of plot (lots of people being dumb about their emotions and having messed up relationships), but it worked for me. Also smart and interesting.
LibraryThing member alexrichman
Reminded me a lot of Junk, which isn't really aimed at adults... but this book seems to mean a great deal to a great number of people, so that's something.
LibraryThing member maybedcover
this will definitely... maybe, become one of my comfort books. Maybe Whatever Yes Sure Fine Yes Whatever Sure. i've never felt so –ironically– homey reading a book. almost highlighted the entirety of it. but, the emptiness, unknowingness that left me :-(

Awards

Lambda Literary Award (Finalist — 2014)
ALA Over the Rainbow Book List (Selection — Fiction — 2014)

Language

Original language

English

Original publication date

2013

ISBN

0374606617 / 9780374606619
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