Posted 20 hours ago

Dykette: A Novel

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it’s quite literally, the perfect type of book i want from contemporary lesbian stories (maybe with a black lead instead but yknow, baby steps ig). Her disposition lacks any crumb of an earnest heart, and like most of the characters in this book, I found her kind of insufferable. Rather than the book being an arc of Sasha empathizing with her partners needs more, the book seems to double down on the idea that Jesse should empathize more with Sasha and her High Femme Camp Antics. Even if the trip includes a third couple--Jesse's best friend, Lou, and their cool-girl flame, Darcy--whose It-queer clout Sasha ridicules yet desperately wants.

I think it’s really interesting to learn how much “femme” means to different people in all sorts of different ways, but I do think that a thread that I’ve found that unifies a lot of femmes is sort of the embrace of joy and humour and coyness. And look, I'm hard to shock with queer books, but implying your trans partner looks like a sex offender not once but TWICE in a book? Jenny Fran Davis shows up to our interview with, as promised, a prime piece of book swag: a white baseball cap with Dykette, the name of her forthcoming novel out May 16, in hot pink cursive along the front. It is an upper middle class lesbian sex romp that masks its own uncertainty about identity in grand proclamations and casual transphobia, while making the case for being terrible as an inherent part of some "modern" rich white cis femme identity. Her lesbian boyfriend, who is on T and uses he/him and she/her pronouns interchangeably, is at the whims of Sasha's projections, that range from strict gender roles, to non-consensual-roleplay during sex.While the characters gave me less than something to like, I did find the Contemporary Queer Tableau a fascinating display of the upper echelon of dyke society. Sasha is high femme, she's in her mid 20s, has exclusively dated butches, and enjoys performing "traditional gender roles" with her partners.

The book has some interesting things to say about generational changes and trans identity, but what annoyed me is that it sees itself as somehow edgelord-y, when it's mainly about the protagonist being an anti-feminist idiot - and I don't mean the outward presentation (who am I to comment on that, a woman who owns three pink coats and a concerning amount of shoes and handbags? A modern day bourgeois comedy of manners, that follows three couples of brooklyn-dykes on a winter holiday on Long Island. Inspired by her own virtue, Sasha contorted herself into the acrobatic shape of an exotic frog, making sure her ankles—her two best features—glistened daintily. When a pair of older, richer lesbians--prominent news host Jules Todd and her psychotherapist partner, Miranda--invites Sasha and Jesse to their country home for the holidays, they're quick to accept.Jesse would think bristly nipples were hot, so she snapped a half-hearted picture, but the image on the screen horrified her, and she deleted it quickly. This deeply smart, original, and funny debut novel has permanently shifted my understanding of the relationship between honesty and performance .

I guess my most sympathetic reading of Dykette is that dyke archetypes lack fun in most of the queer lit I've read, and this book was queer melodrama at its best. The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. But, the author nails it with the revelation that many relationships are predicated on shaky ground, where each person is acting to present the best, most attractive version of themselves, like an image filter. Sasha is the kind of girl you would feud with on Tumblr and know, deep in your heart, that she's the most annoying person in the world, but ultimately you'd find solace in the fact that she knows it too. It often read like practice for a conversation the author would like to have in person, or a rebuttal forgotten in the heat of the moment.

Is there any greater fantasy than the expectation we should get our most fundamental human needs met by a single person? Perhaps failing to grow up by the world’s limiting hetero standards only becomes a real problem when it prevents someone from working through their childhood wounds — because unless you put in real effort to process whatever might have gone wrong with your earliest human attachments, those pains can and will haunt your adult relationships. But in Dykette, Sasha seems mostly uninterested in friendship, or at least in the kind of multigenerational queer community that Jules and Miranda might fold her into. it does pick up significantly in the final fourth with some disturbing performance art and ensuing chaos.

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