cover image Time Is the Thing a Body Moves Through

Time Is the Thing a Body Moves Through

T Fleischmann. Coffee House, $16.99 trade paper (152p) ISBN 978-1-56689-547-7

Fleischmann (Syzygy Beauty: An Essay) weaves together art criticism, poetry, and memoir in this introspective and poignant book-length essay. It circles around the interactive art of Felix Gonzalez-Torres, providing both an homage to the late artist and an exploration of such issues as power, desire, and activism. Fleischmann writes that Gonzalez-Torres’s “work does not simply endure, but rather replenishes itself, proliferating freedom, grace, and change.” Freedom, grace, and change are themes Fleischmann (who prefers they/them pronouns) examines in their own life as they transition through genders and traverse a range of landscapes, from rural Tennessee to Berlin, along the way reconnecting with lovers, making art with friends, and searching for a dynamic understanding of bodies and identity that transcends traditional labels. Fleischmann also writes about taking hormones and moving from gay culture into a more gender queer scene. Throughout the book, Fleischmann articulates the power in finally becoming visible in a world hostile to gender fluidity, recalling that previously, “I never knew people like me existed, so I never imagined myself next to someone or not.” Their remark that between “the epistolary or the journal, I try to have each at once” eloquently summarizes the form of a perceptive and compassionate narrative that beautifully breaks with the limits of genre and gender. (June)