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My Body Is Yours

My Body Is Yours

A Memoir

Book - 2015
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A memoir about fathers and sons, breaking out of gender norms, and reconciling with a dangerous childhood.

Lambda Literary Award finalist

Michael V. Smith is a multihyphenate force of nature: a novelist, poet, improv comic, filmmaker, drag queen, performance artist, and occasional clown. In this, his first work of nonfiction, Michael traces his early years as an inadequate male--a fey kid growing up in a small town amid a blue-collar family; a sissy; an insecure teenager desperate to disappear; and an obsessive writer-performer, drawn to compulsions of alcohol, sex, reading, spending, work, and art as a means to cope and heal.

As an artist whose work focuses on our preconceived notions about the body, Michael questions the very notion of what it means to be human. He also asks: How can we know what a man is? How might understanding gender as metaphor be a tool for a deeper understanding of identity? In coming to terms with his past "failures" at masculinity, and with an aging father he is only beginning to come to know, Michael offers a new way of thinking about breaking out of gender norms, and reconciling with a dangerous childhood.

Publisher: Vancouver, BC : Arsenal Pulp Press, [2015]
ISBN: 9781551525778
1551525771
Branch Call Number: c823 S642WS6m
Characteristics: 236 pages ; 21 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Michael Smith was an outsider while growing up in a small blue-collar town. In his life and this book, he must confront questions of gender identity, masculinity and what it means to be his father's son.


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grandeourse2
Feb 04, 2019

just loved the honesty and courage to be so honest. I believe a must read when interested in understanding people and going beyond superficiality and judgement.

bibliotechnocrat Dec 22, 2015

Framed as a memoir (indeed, it's subtitled as such) this book could just as easily be shelved in the gender studies section. Here, Smith is painfully honest about his compulsions and addictions, as well as his family dysfunctions - but more is going on for the reader than cathartic voyeurism. His sexual explorations and exploits, his gender-bending clothing choices, all are served up in such a way as to make the reader think about sexual identity, both in the orientation and general senses. In addition, the book ends with a rather beautiful illustration of therapeutic reframing, which, as a conclusion, really works.

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