cover image Nevada


Imogen Binnie. Topside (Ingram, dist.), $26 (300p) ISBN 978-1-4802-3242-6

This debut, the first novel from a new indie press dedicated to publishing transgender narratives, tells the story of Maria Griffiths, a 29-year-old trans woman. When Maria learns that her girlfriend Steph may have cheated, she makes decisions about not only the relationship, but also herself, grappling with her history and identity. After she’s fired from her Manhattan bookstore job, Maria borrows/steals Steph’s car, buys a bunch of heroin, and hits the road to ponder gender, heteronormativity, and social conditioning, reminding herself that a lifetime of emotional repression does not dissipate at the moment of transition. In Star City, Nev., Maria meets James, a young man questioning his own gender and sexuality, and invites him to accompany her to Reno. Throughout, she indulges in long inner monologues, soliloquies that quickly grow tiresome. There’s something immature about Maria and something pat about her thinking. Neither James nor the reader ultimately stands to learn much from spending time in her company. (Apr.)