Harvard Book Store’s virtual event series welcomes celebrated academic, writer, and activist GRACE LAVERY for a discussion of her debut memoir, Please Miss: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Penis. She will be joined in conversation by TORI BEDFORD, reporter for the GBH News Dorchester Bureau.
About Please Miss
Grace Lavery is a reformed druggie, an unreformed omnisexual chaos Muppet, and 100 percent, all-natural, synthetic female hormone monster. As soon as she solves her “penis problem,” she begins receiving anonymous letters, seemingly sent by a cult of sinister clowns, and sets out on a magical mystery tour to find the source of these surreal missives. Misadventures abound: Grace performs in a David Lynch remake of Sunset Boulevard and is reprogrammed as a sixties femmebot; she writes a Juggalo Ghostbusters prequel and a socialist manifesto disguised as a porn parody of a quiz show. Or is it vice versa? As Grace fumbles toward a new trans identity, she tries on dozens of different voices, creating a coat of many colors.
With more dick jokes than a transsexual should be able to pull off, Please Miss gives us what we came for, then slaps us in the face and orders us to come again.
Praise for Please Miss
“This is the queer memoir you’ve been waiting for; a dizzying mix of theory and pastiche, metafiction and memory. Please Miss is Terry Castle meets Lauren Slater meets Michelle Tea; hilarious and sexy and terrifying in its brilliance. But don’t worry—Lavery is an avalanche you’ll be glad to be buried under.” —Carmen Maria Machado, author of In the Dream House and Her Body and Other Parties
“Grace Lavery’s Please Miss is a polychromatic, wild and joyous gambol through a world which is like ours but blessedly twisted . . . Come for the laugh out loud miniature windsock on page one, stay for the fascinating analysis of a discarded pig part in Jude the Obscure, end up profoundly moved and profoundly grateful for this supremely intelligent, innovative, and important tale which is, as Lavery brilliantly puts it, ‘like all the rest, different from all the rest.’” —Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts
“Grace Lavery’s memoir—if that’s what it is?—is a daring, perverse, mind-blowing, intellectual, hilarious, outrageous, inspired work of art that somehow is touchingly sincere while giving no fucks whatsoever. I read this laughing out loud, clutching my pearls, my mind exploding in wonder. This meditation on trans bodies, queer sex, pop culture, academia, and fantasy rips open bold and badly needed new terrain in literature.” —Michelle Tea, author of Against Memoir and Black Wave