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The nine stories in Morgan Thomas’ shimmering debut collection witness Southern queer and genderqueer characters determined to find themselves reflected in the annals of history, whatever the cost. As Thomas’ subjects trace deceit and violence through Southern tall tales and their own pasts, their journeys reveal the porous boundaries of body, land, and history, and the sometimes ruthless awakenings of self-discovery.
A trans woman finds her independence with the purchase of a pregnancy bump; a young Virginian flees their relationship, choosing instead to immerse themself in the life of an intersex person from Colonial-era Jamestown. A writer tries to evade the murky and violent legacy of an ancestor who supposedly disappeared into a midwifery bag, and in the uncanny title story, a young trans person brings home a replacement daughter for their elderly father.
Winding between reinvention and remembrance, transition and transcendence, these origin stories resound across centuries. Ushering in a new form of queer mythmaking, Manywhere introduces a storyteller of uncommon range and talent.
Karen Thompson Walker is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Age of Miracles, which has been translated into 27 languages and named one of the best books of the year by People, O: The Oprah Magazine, and Financial Times, among others. Her most recent novel, The Dreamers, was a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Oregon.