What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Rather defensive, you’ll think, and perhaps something to test out: pluck a rose, put it in a lidded box, and waft it beneath the head of a loved one, inviting them to take a good honk of anal cheese, and see how they enjoy it. Sweet as a rose? I rather think not.
I’ve written a new book. This one is for you, my dear Wazzocks: it is intimate, personal, hopefully fun (although god it is embarrassing to say so), and large. At the core, it’s a transition-memoir-cum-recovery-memoir, with a basic masonic clown-based conspiracy plot ladled on top. But it is also an attempt to write in every genre at once: there’s a little bit of glitzy film noir, a little Yoko Ono, a little Conrad Black. I want to eat everything and shit it out shinier.
The book is called PLEASE MISS. Three meanings:
Please, call me “miss.”
Please don’t hurt me.
I don’t know if it would smell as sweet if it had been called anal cheese, or for that matter if it had been called a rose. The subtitle is A HEARTBREAKING WORK OF STAGGERING PENIS, which is sure to lead to the twiddling of a few woggles.
This is what it looks like, from the outside. It is now available for pre-order here. Please do consider pre-ordering it. I hope you won’t regret it.
And here are some kind things people have said about it!
“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 ours but blessedly twisted (i.e. “Whole Foods” is “Hole Foods,” and so on). 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 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
“Please Miss is a wickedly smart and filthily funny mosaic of criticism, memoir, and autofiction that is refreshingly avant-garde, profoundly erotic, and as enthralling as an intimate all-night conversation with the brainy high femme BFF you wish you had. I wish it upon everyone.”
—Melissa Febos, author of Whip Smart and Abandon Me
“An unclassifiable pastiche of genuine beauty, a meta-memoir that takes its humor as seriously as its philosophy. Lush, louche, and utterly virtuosic, Please Miss takes a puff off a cigarette, and blooms an astonishing constellation of linked vignettes, an argument given in undercurrent, in root systems, in smoke. Please Miss gives us what we came for and then the much more for which we did not know we could come.”
—Jordy Rosenberg, author of Confessions of the Fox
“In the way that excellent style always blurs the question of genre, Grace Lavery shows how excellent style can blur gender with equal verve. This book reframes the question of transition from the familiar journey from A to B, and replaces that journey with a can’t-look-away performance of wit, language, irreverence, and delight so compelling that a reader forgets about destinations all together.”
—Torrey Peters, author of Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones and Detransition, Baby
“I met Grace when she was still an egg (trans talk for folx who don't know yet that they're trans) and think hers is perhaps the most spectacular, fully formed hatching since Minerva sprang from the head of Zeus.”
—Susan Stryker, author of Transgender History: The Roots of Today's Revolution, founding editor of Transgender Studies Quarterly, Emmy Award-winning director of Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria
“Grace Lavery has somehow managed to blend a rich overview of trans philosophy and theory with a languid, playful sexuality and humor that radiates from every page. It’s a work of great seriousness that doesn’t take itself seriously at all, and as long as I live I will never figure out how she did it.”
—Nicole Cliffe, author, columnist, editor of The Toast
“Please Miss will awe you with its swung prose, its hairpin generic turns, and its bouts of gleeful self-scrutiny. These formal extroversions are part of the book’s argument and a deep insurrectionist pleasure in themselves. One chapter through and you’re ready to draw with Lavery, stand with her, hold with her.”
—Paul Saint-Amour, Walter H. & Leonore C. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities, University of Pennsylvania
“Please Miss cheerfully explodes the trans memoir as political and rhetorical apparatus, refusing norms of uplift or disclosure or cis reader reassurance in favor of the messy magic of a joyfully plural existence. You will annoy loved ones because you’re going to read big chunks of this out loud to them and their jaws will drop at the chutzpah of Grace abounding.”
—Drew Daniel, of the band Matmos, Associate Professor of English at Johns Hopkins University
“Always smart, frequently funny, and sometimes—always tastefully, I assure you—gut-wrenchingly moving, Grace Lavery’s Please Miss is brilliant from start to finish. It’s a howling tale of trans life, addiction, sex, love, loss, and this maddening and delightful meat out of which we are made. Packed as it is with delicious fabulation and sticky detail, the book makes a profound statement about not only what it means to be trans, but also what it means to be meaty, enfleshed, sexed, throbbing with desire, reeling from loss, ragged, loved and pleasured, carved and sutured, and, above all, struggling to find words for any and all of it. What a book! And have I mentioned it’s an absolute delight to read?”
—Gabriel Rosenberg, Associate Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Duke University
One more time: you can preorder it here. Please do!