Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme

Category: Book
Edited By: Coyote, Ivan E.
Edited By: Sharman, Zena
Subject:  QUEER & TRANS / Non-Fiction
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / LGBT Studies / Lesbian Studies
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies
Audience: general/trade
Awards: ALA Stonewall Honor Book (2012) Winner
Lambda Literary Award (2012) Short-listed
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press
Published: April 2011
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 312
Size: 9.00in x 6.00in x 0.69in
Our Price:
$ 21.95
In stock

Bookshelf comment

This anthology of personal essays, poetry, academic papers, and short fiction explores the awkward, funny, confusing, contradictory, liberating, and loving ways to live masculinity and femininity from an influential cross-section of the queer world’s smartest and sexiest writers, poets, musicians, activists and scholars, many of whom are Canadian. Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme explores the parameters, history, and power of a multitude of butch and femme realities and what the words butch and femme can mean in today's ever-shifting gender landscape. This book is as much of a reclamation as it is an explosion of our understanding of and experiences with butch and femme identities. It includes essays that cherish and celebrate butch and femme as well as seek to critique, expand, and redefine these categories. Most importantly, it offers playful and unique insights into the complexities of queer lives.

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

Named a Stonewall Honor Book by the American Library Association

Lambda Literary Award finalist

In the summer of 2009, butch writer and storyteller Ivan Coyote and gender researcher and femme dynamo Zena Sharman wrote down a wish-list of their favourite queer authors; they wanted to continue and expand the butch-femme conversation. The result is Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme. The stories in these pages resist simple definitions. The people in these stories defy reductive stereotypes and inflexible categories. The pages in this book describe the lives of an incredible diversity of people whose hearts also pounded for some reason the first time they read or heard the words "butch" or "femme."

Contributors such as Jewelle Gomez (The Gilda Stories), Thea Hillman (Intersex), S. Bear Bergman (Butch is a Noun), Chandra Mayor (All the Pretty Girls), Amber Dawn (Sub Rosa), Anna Camilleri (Brazen Femme), Debra Anderson (Code White), Anne Fleming (Anomaly), Michael V. Smith (Cumberland), and Zoe Whittall (Bottle Rocket Hearts) explore the parameters, history, and power of a multitude of butch and femme realities. It's a raucous, insightful, sexy, and sometimes dangerous look at what the words butch and femme can mean in today's ever-shifting gender landscape, with one eye on the past and the other on what is to come.

Includes a foreword by Joan Nestle, renowned femme author and editor of The Persistent Desire: A Femme-Butch Reader, a landmark anthology originally published in 1992.

Now in its second printing

Review Quote*Reading Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme is like attending a dinner party with people you never got the chance to talk to before-fascinating, brave, insightful people-some of whom are very well known and others are simply the people you want to get to know. All of them talk frankly and with genuine courage about what it means to live outside the norms of society. From the introduction by Joan Nestle to the closing commentary by Ivan E. Coyote, these are entries that examine the daily lives of contemporary gender revolutionaries with reference to both the history and the myths of Femme/Butch existence. It is a manifesto and an invitation. Read Persistence and look again at what you thought you knew and get to know some of the people that will be defining what it means to be revolutionary in the coming decades.
-Dorothy Allison
Review Quote*The butch/femme dynamic is a conscious, loving binary of desire and trust ... it's a dance of love and outlawed romance. Butches and femmes share a sense of tribe, extended family and kinship-no matter what our genders might be. There is no doubt in my mind that this book will soon be recognized as a major contribution to the shelves of our queer literature. And it's totally gonna be a must-have bedside reader for many. This is a smart, loving book by some terrific writers. They all know what it means to live and love as butch/femme beyond the stereotypes, and they've made their diesel femme Auntie Kate very proud of them.
-Kate Bornstein, author of Gender Outlaw
Review Quote*The death of butch-femme has been greatly exaggerated. This beautiful collection captures the intensity of gender variant communities now while continuing to make important links to pioneers from the past. Here we meet femme sharks and cowboys, faggy butches, studs and futches. This book is like a pocketknife, it is useful, sharp and in the right hands it can do anything.
-Jack Halberstam, author of Female Masculinity (1998) and In A Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives (2005)
Review Quote*Without a doubt, Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme is a community treasure. I predict that this is a book that will be seen as a touchstone for years to come by those of us who have found home within butch/femme identities and community.This book has earned itself a special place on my bookshelf right next to that old loved and battered copy of The Persistent Desire.
-The Femme's Guide
Review Quote*Persistence embodies what it means to be human among the fragments and fringes of identity.
-Telegraph Journal
Review Quote*A new collection of essays exploring the funny, messy, confusing, contradictory, liberating, confining, wet wild ride of gender from a powerhouse cross-section of the queer world's smartest and sexiest writers, poets, musicians, activists and scholars ... It's a must-have for the shelf of anyone who lives and loves and jams in this crazy world of mystical gendered bodies, and is a nice reminder that butch and femme are as past as they are present as they are future, and that there are as many ways to do masculinity and femininity and everything else as there are smart, freaky, quirky people walking around on this planet.
Review Quote*It is thrilling both to see an incredible storyteller [Coyote] branching out in a new direction and to have another name [Sharman] added to the lexicon of top-notch queer thinkers.
-Gay People's Chronicle
Review Quote*Touching on a wide range of colors in the prism of butch and femme sexuality and identity, this compilation is indispensable to the lesbian community as an emblem of how far the female gay community has come, and in what direction their mighty assembly is headed. It's the ultimate "gift to those just discovering themselves."
-Bay Area Reporter
Review Quote*Editors Ivan E. Coyote and Zena Sharman have produced an inclusive and balanced anthology that illuminates a wide array of issues surrounding gender and identity ... Persistence is a worthy read for those versed in contemporary gender identity issues, and for anyone with an interest in authentic documentation of human experience.
-Quill and Quire