western lane

Read Western Lane by Chetna Maroo

Eleven-year-old Gopi has been playing squash since she was old enough to hold a racket. When her mother dies, her father enlists her in a quietly brutal training regimen, and the game becomes her world. Slowly, she grows apart from her sisters. Her life is reduced to the sport, guided by its rhythms: the serve, the volley, the drive, the shot and its echo.

But on the court, she is not alone. She is with her pa. She is with Ged, a thirteen-year-old boy with his own formidable talent. She is with the players who have come before her. She is in awe.

Western Lane is a short novel that uses the pretext of competitive sports to touch upon matters of grief and identity. It was a beautiful and haunting read, following a child poised to become a squash champion after the death of her mother; her father, obsessed with squash, and herself go all-in on the sport…

le rêve du pêcheur

Read Le rêve du pêcheur by Hemley Boum

Zack a fui le Cameroun à dix-huit ans, abandonnant sa mère, Dorothée, à son sort et à ses secrets. Devenu psychologue clinicien à Paris, marié et père de famille, il est rattrapé par le passé alors que la vie qu’il s’est construite prend l’eau de toutes parts… À quelques décennies de là, son grand-père Zacharias, pêcheur dans un petit village côtier, voit son mode de vie traditionnel bouleversé par une importante compagnie forestière. Il rêve d’un autre avenir pour les siens…

Zachary a abandonné son Cameroun natal et toute sa famille pour venir étudier la psychologie à Nanterre, en région parisienne. Il s’intègre bien. Il a une copine métisse d’origine martiniquaise, mais ça se passe mal : il n’est pas assez conscient du racisme systémique aux yeux de sa copine, elle est trop énervée et radicale…

never let me go

Read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported, trained in art and literature, and become just the sort of people the world wants them to be. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it.

Within the grounds of Hailsham, Kathy grows from schoolgirl to young woman, but it’s only when she and her friends Ruth and Tommy leave the safe grounds of the school (as they always knew they would) that they realize the full truth of what Hailsham is.

Never Let Me Go is a classic of the dystopia genre. It’s quiet, soft, heart-wrenching. There’s not a lot going on in there, to the point that the novel, no matter how horrible its premise, feels quite cozy at times. Knowing the main twist may have made it less memorable for me, or maybe it’s…

The Rachel Incident

Read The Rachel Incident by Caroline O’Donoghue

Rachel is a student working at a bookstore when she meets James, and it’s love at first sight. Effervescent and insistently heterosexual, James soon invites Rachel to be his roommate and the two begin a friendship that changes the course of both their lives forever. Together, they run riot through the streets of Cork city, trying to maintain a bohemian existence while the threat of the financial crash looms before them.

When Rachel falls in love with her married professor, Dr. Fred Byrne, James helps her devise a reading at their local bookstore, with the goal that she might seduce him afterwards. But Fred has other desires. So begins a series of secrets and compromises that intertwine the fates of James, Rachel, Fred, and Fred’s glamorous, well-connected, bourgeois wife. Aching with unrequited love, shot through with delicious, sparkling humor, The Rachel Incident is a triumph.

Everyone seems to agree that The Rachel Incident is a funny novel. I don’t get it. I couldn’t stop reading The Rachel Incident. It was gripping and relatable and I felt the confusion and despair and hope of our young trio – because, as much as the narrator wants to tell us otherwise, Carey is…

where the dead sleep

Read Where the Dead Sleep by Joshua Moehling

When an early morning call brings Deputy Ben Packard to the scene of a home invasion, he finds Bill Sandersen shot in his bed. Bill was a well-liked local who chased easy money his whole life, leaving bad debts and broken hearts in his wake. Everyone Packard talks to has a story about Bill, but no one has a clear motive for wanting him dead. The business partner. The ex-wife. The current wife. The high-stakes poker buddies. Any of them–or none of them–could be guilty.
As the investigation begins, tragedy strikes the Sheriff’s department, forcing Packard to make a difficult choice about his future: step down as acting Sheriff and pursue the quiet life he came to Sandy Lake in search of, or subject himself to the scrutiny of an election for the full-time role of Sheriff, a job he’s not sure he wants.

I got Where the dead sleep because it was part of the Lambda Literary shortlist, without realizing that it’s book 2 of a series of which I read the first book. I realized that when I saw my own review of Book 1 on The Storygraph from a while ago (when I still said ACAB):…

le fameux sondage

Liked Lettre ouverte de contributeurices LGBTQIA+ de Wikipédia (Friction Magazine)

Car si l’encyclopédie est un projet qui a bien évidemment ses limites, qui viennent de ses choix radicaux d’être sous licence libre et de fonctionner selon la « neutralité de point de vue », mais aussi des imperfections des personnes qui s’y investissent, elle est précieuse. Wikipédia reste l’un des rares espaces en ligne qui soit non-marchand, non soumis aux censures néfastes qui s’exercent sur X/Twitter, Instagram ou Tiktok, et préservé de la médiocrité de l’IA générative. Wikipédia, c’est aussi un espace multilingue par nature, permettant de sortir de l’unique référence à la seule perspective venue des États-Unis qui est si prégnante dans les milieux queers. Nous voulons la préserver.

Tout en restant lucides quant à l’état de nombreux articles de l’encyclopédie, nous nous réjouissons du travail qui y est accompli, par nous ou par d’autres, que ce travail soit sur des sujets essentiels comme l‘identité de genre des personnes autistes ou la transition de genre, ou sur des histoires oubliées comme la biographie de Mademoiselle Raucourt, lesbienne du XVIIIème siècle.

Il est difficile d’exprimer l’amour que je porte à Wikipédia – et donc à sa communauté. Évidemment qu’on va continuer. Évidemment que c’est important. Évidemment que j’aime ce projet immense et que je veux y apporter tout ce que je peux. Évidemment que je veux accompagner les nouvelles personnes qui s’y intéressent. Évidemment. (Et évidemment,…