With her narration both attractive and funny Mess, darling Tori Peters breaks through the international level. A story about Amy, a trans woman in transition: He decides to reverse the transition, not to go through life as a trans woman anymore. Then, as Ames, he bore his girlfriend. He communicates with his ex-wife Reese, who is also a trans woman. Do you want to start a family with him and with the mother of the child Katrina (cis woman, born with a female body and also matches her)?
Also read a review of Tori Peters’ novel from last year: Striking and Attractive: This is the book of the year (●●●●)
This may be the first time a story about trans people has reached such a wide audience (it topped the list last year). The New York Timesbestseller list). This is also because the novel is about so much more: the careless mistakes of love, the big life choices – described very brilliantly. Peters did not come out of nowhere. Starting her career as an investigative journalist, she decided to study non-fiction books at the famous writing school in Iowa. While everyone else threw themselves into the personal essay and self-literature, Peters turned to fiction. “I wrote a novel for three years, after which it was rejected fifty times.”
That doesn’t sound very motivating…
“I got into literature. Note, this was before I moved. I was very interested in Queer theory† Judith Butler with “Sex as Performance,” How Language Works on the Meta-Level…”
I found it refreshing that”Detransition, baby It has nothing to do with heavy theory!
“No, but then I was on standby at it, you know? Even after I met two trans women—which I found annoying and jealous—I went to the student’s GP and asked about hormones. I just got it.”
Just like Ames, in your novel. Her family broke up with her, but her doctor says, after all, voila, enjoy it.
This is how things went in 2012. The government did not interfere. You had to know what you were going to get into, and then it was up to you. So I went into transition, slowly descending into my body. I felt things, I felt them. Then you can come up with theoretical questions like: “Are you a woman or a copy of a copy?” But I just wanted to live. Lana Del Rey Listen. ”
I think Amy/Ames got stuck at that theoretical stage a bit.
“Amy, Ames, is going through a transition — not because of remorse, but because life as a trans woman is so hard for her. She doesn’t get out of her head. She has a theory: In South Africa, herds of baby elephants terrorize society because they don’t have mothers to lead by example. They’ve all been poached. Amy compares trans women to baby elephants. Very strange indeed. You try to understand people, turn them into elephants, turn them into people again, so you can understand people. Then you talk about white trans women, your metaphor of African elephants. It’s like Ames’ thought process is my work from the past. I rewrote this part of the book several times, and didn’t know what to do with it. Anyway, I don’t support this theory.”
You are also not trying to educate the reader about the “right way” of self-expression or homosexuality.
“Teaching prose has something hierarchical about it. This is an experience you don’t have, reader, and you will never have, says the writer, we are very different, so let me explain it to all of you. This is why fiction is so wonderful: it often makes you feel the same Feeling “.
†Mess, darling Dedicated to divorced cis. Precisely because I could relate to novels by, for example, Rachel Cask and Catherine Lacey when I moved. Divorced women also have to reinvent everything. Like Katrina in the book. She believes that there is something inside of her, a different form of family – only her motives are not entirely pure. I especially ended up with a heterogeneous narrow life.”
Is literature an invitation to search for it outside yourself?
“There are things that transgender people go through that people in CIS countries just can’t understand. But the more I think about it, the smaller these things get. When Amy first had sex in the novel, she was still alive as a child on her. Doing all kinds of mental tricks to get something done, she’s getting close to getting out of her body. I thought: This is a unique experience. But then Christine Robinian’s “Cat Person” story came out. New Yorker† The same thing happens in him, but then when a cis woman has bad sex: people seem to leave their bodies for all kinds of reasons! We can say that we feel the same regardless of different circumstances. Beautiful stories have the kind of privacy that goes through a wormhole and comes out global.”
You are a fan of Knausgård. Is this “special world” what attracts you?
“He’s so good at shame! You feel it, almost indistinguishable from the times when you were ashamed of yourself. It affects me: the writing goes deeper, down to the smallest detail. I do it when Amy gets beaten up. The standard story is: Trans women get beaten up. Because men hate her. But it’s different here. Amy provokes the fight on her own. What she does is back to a mechanism from her childhood: masculine behavior. This is where the real pain for her lies, not in the explosion of her head. Because she makes everything difficult and theoretical. She is afraid and ashamed.”
However, Ames seems very brave in trying to get Katrina and Reese excited about his fatherly plan. Katrina wonders if she’s in a walking womb, which Reese calls a psychopath.
“I edited this part for a TV pilot. Awesome tough. That obvious finesse is because he’s so boring, he takes over everything but himself. In the book you can see in his head, but on the picture: OK. With Reese, there’s not much difference between What you see you do and what you think. It was easier to modify.”
One of Reese’s funniest moments happens internally. After thinking about how women see their femininity confirmed by the “wrong men,” write, “If someone pushes Reese into the bush, you’ll know exactly what to do.” Namely: lying in that bush crying.
And then people from the BBC say live on the radio: ‘Tori thinks women should be treated by their husbands.’ NEW! CIS women do this all the time, and they deal with the fuck. But when the trans characters do it, I’m I suddenly reverse the whole libertarian movement. A double standard of course.”
Reese is actually looking just like Amy.
And also biased. The confirmation you’re looking for may come from a completely different place than she was expecting. By the way, the same applies to Ames and Katrina. I try to rid them of all the survival mechanisms, the lies and stories about themselves and how the world works. Ames realizes that he is avoiding something huge, which is his gender identity. Katrina needs to stop trying to fit in with someone else’s mold, be it straight or eccentric.”
Is this your transition from queer theory to practice?
†Fate theory A great place to start. But there is no easy answer. This is also reflected in the receipt of the book. On the other hand, people find it very radical. So much sex, so much shit† On the other hand, people shout: This is a book that equates the experience of transgender people with that of straight people, and creates a kind of artificiality happy family Makes it – and does it wrong. Uh. If the people in all the camps are angry, then there is clearly something inside of him.”
Yet it is an international success.
“In good prose you read urgency. I mean the writer wants to tell you the story, not necessarily to an uninterested reader. You write for an audience that has a familiarity with you. For me, explaining what I don’t care about is being trans. But I find it interesting to talk about how That the transition isn’t really over, and that a tough decision is followed by another tough one. I want to say this to people who have made a tough decision and haven’t made a decision yet. These people aren’t all like me. Knausgård probably didn’t write with a trans woman in mind either, however.. .”
Are there more stories about trans people reaching a wide audience? Do you think you are opening new horizons?
“There are books that are at least as good or better than mine. My timing was just optimal. Motherhood is a current topic in literature and popular culture. That heterogeneous ideal is beginning to crumble. People are becoming more familiar with trans and gay people. So they know how to read. They know The shape, the type, the soap, my review. It’s waiting for someone who can do it better and bigger than me.”
It’s not a competition is it?
Say, ‘If you’re floating off your ego, you’re not really going to write a book, you’re going to eat ice cream. Have you seen the documentary about Michael Jordan? It’s so frivolous!’ Then he has breakfast at a hotel and the opponent’s coach didn’t even come to say hello. Later, on Despite that, Jordan is playing the game of his life. Do you know who this was? Philip Roth. He has been meticulously tracing who wrote something bad about him. It’s about absorbing all the humiliations and insults in life and turning them into art. Chaos, disorganized, all contradictions are in a person. One. Revenge, tenderness, disgust, humor. Yes, they will be my characters chaotic Mentioned, that’s exactly the point. You see, that’s what imagination gives you. room.”