Writing Queer Women of Color

Representation and Misdirection in Contemporary Fiction and Graphic Narratives

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About the Book

Queer women of color have historically been underrepresented or excluded completely in fiction and comics. When present, they are depicted as “less than” the white, Eurocentric norm. Drawing on semiotics, queer theory, and gender studies, this book addresses the imbalanced representation of queer women of color in graphic narratives and fiction and explores ways of rewriting queer women of color back into the frame. The author interrogates what it means to be “Other” and how “Othering” can be more creatively resisted.

About the Author(s)

Monalesia Earle is an independent researcher living and working in England. Her poetry, short stories and essays, have been published in various peer-reviewed journals and books.

Bibliographic Details

Monalesia Earle
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 308
Bibliographic Info: 46 photos (13 in color), notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7454-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3681-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction 1
Unmasking the Literary Canon: In Search of Our Queer(y)ing Sisters 14  •  Challenging the Privileged Narrative 15  •  Multiple and Changing Contexts 17  •  The Souls of Queer Folks 19  •  (Re)Inscribing Queer Women of Color 21
1. Misdirection: Situating the Subversive Voice in Critical Context 27
The Semiotics of Misdirection 34  •  Queering the Ga(y)ze Through
Misdirection 38  •  Graphic Incursions and Misdirection 40
2. Women of Color in Queer(ed) Space: ­Ann-Marie MacDonald’s Fall on Your Knees (1997) 43
The Ties That Bind 48  •  Women of Color in Queer(ed) Space 49  •  “Seeing”—From Where We’re Standing: Intimate Relationships in Fall On Your Knees 52  •  Betrayal 53  •  Phallocentric Rings: The Heterosexual Imperative in Private/Public Space 58  •  Rosaries and the Glory of God 63  •  Resistance in Eighths and Half Notes 65  •  The Racial Imperative: Race and ­Self-Loathing 67
3. Queer(y)ing the Punk Aesthetic: Reading Race, Desire and Anarchism in Cristy C. Road’s Bad Habits (2008) 74
Auto(bio)graphics 80  •  Graphic Beginnings 83  •  Queer(ed)
Exile 84  •  All “Road(s)” Lead Back to the Beginning 86  •
Critically (Black) Punk 90  •  Experience as Cultural Representation:
A Signifying Dialogue 94  •  Revolutionary Contradictions 96  •
Intersecting Refrains: Punk’s ­G-Spot 98  •  Resignifying the Phallus 100
4. Narrating the Margins: Queer Words and Sexual Trauma in the “Gutter”—Gloria Naylor’s The Women of Brewster Place (1982) 105
Where the Margins Are: Naylor’s Walled City 108  •  Shifting the
Frame 110  •  Crossroads 112  •  Graphic Imagery 115  •  Prelude to a Rape 117  •  The Alley 121  •  The Rape 123
Between pages 130 and 131 are 8 color plates containing 13 photographs
5. Critical Meditations on Love and Madness: Emma Pérez’s
Gulf Dreams (1996) 131
Women, Psychiatry and Madness 133  •  Theorizing Space 136  •  Where Madness Begins: Threading the Narrative 139  •  Beginnings 142  •
Divisions 145  •  Madness, Mestiza, Memory 148  •  Naming as
Witness 151  •  Resistance Madly Writ 153  •  Borderlands 155
6. Body Crossings: Gender, Signifying and Misdirection in Jaime Cortez’s Sexile/Sexilio (2004) 158
Critical (Trans)Nationalisms 161  •  Theorizing the (Trans)National
Ga(y)ze 163  •  Marielitos 166  •  The Grand Entrance 170  •  The Male (Latin) Gaze 172  •  Transitions 173  •  Transformations 178  •  Exile 179  •  Signifying Practices and Misdirection 181  •  Misdirection’s ­Lessons 184  •  “Passing” Performances 189
7. A Long Journey to Her Own Queer Self: Beldan Sezen’s Snapshots of a Girl (2015) 193
Identities and Labels 194  •  Reading Pictures in ­Hyper-Mediated
Spaces 194  •  Visualizing the Sound of Silence 198  •  Acculturation and Its Queer Limits 200  •  From Whence Came the “I” 202  •  Coming Out to Mother: The Injunctions of Silence—Part 1 206  •  Coming Out
to Mother: Who Should Be Ashamed?—Part 2 209  •  Coming Out
to Mother: Kadinlari Severim—Part 3 212  •  Home 214
8. A Delicate Dance with Demons: Kabi Nagata’s My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness (2016) 217
Misdirection and the Fetishizing Western Gaze 222  •  A Not So Private Report 229  •  The Beginning 230  •  “Help” Wanted 232  •  No “Straight” Path to Acceptance 236  •  Therapeutic Sex in a Love
Hotel 239
Conclusion 247
Chapter Notes 249
Bibliography 275
Index 289