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Brazen Femme

Queering Femininity

edited by Chloe Brushwood Rose & Anna Camilleri

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gender studies, gay studies
list price: $19.95 USD
category: Social Science
published: 2002
publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press
  • Short-listed, Lambda Literary Award
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Brazen Femme: Queering Femininity is a manifesto for the unrepentant bitch, straddling the furious and fantastic. Undeniably celebratory and deeply troubling, this sharp-edged collection (of fiction, prose poetry, personal essay, photographs, and illustration) figures the un-hyphenated femme experience emerging in performance, betrayal, violence, humour, and survival.
Brazen Femme recognizes femme as an identity in flux and in motion, as constantly being reinvented. This mutability sets the stage for creative and thoughtful representation featuring critically acclaimed writers including Camilla Gibb, Sky Gilbert, Michelle Tea, Amber Hollibaugh, and Anurima Banerji. Brazen Femme unapologetically refuses explanations and definitions while bringing into view femme identity through description, reflection, and interpretation. As such, the collection includes the entertaining and challenging work of writers and artists whose stories are missing from existing explorations of femme that exclude experiences of men, transsexual women, and sex workers.
Whether by choice or necessity, these frenzied femmes each explore their desires to make (and remake) femininity fit their own queer frames. Darlings, drag queens, whores, and action heroes . . . a femme by any other name is spectacular.
With writings by Debra Anderson, Anurima Banerji, T.J. Bryan, Anna Camilleri, Daniel Collins, Lisa Duggan and Kathleen McHugh, Camilla Gibb, Sky Gilbert, Tara Hardy, Amber Hollibaugh, Suzann Kole, Elaine Miller, Kathryn Payne, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Elizabeth Ruth, Trish Salah, Abi Slone and Allyson Mitchell, Michelle Tea, Zoe Whittall, and Karin Wolf.
With photographs by Chlöe Brushwood Rose, Daniel Collins, and illustrations by Allyson Mitchell, Suzy Malik, and Sandi Rapini.

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Editorial Reviews

. . . a sorely needed antidote to femme invisibility. . .

— Butchdykeboy.com

. . . like nothing you've read before. . . the contributors to this volume take no prisoners.
-Virginia Gayzette

— Virginia Gayzette

An amazing anthology edited by writers Chloë Brushwood Rose and Anna Camilleri that features work centered around the experience of being femme by award-winning authors, poets, artists, and activists; filled with short stories, musings, analytical essays, photographs, comics, and poems, some of which will (probably) make you f*king cry.

— Autostraddle

Brazen Femme is an unapologetic celebration of queer femininity and really is long overdue in the field of Lesbian Studies.
-GaysTheWord website

— GaysTheWord.com

Exploring sex, violence, alienation and love. . . .Camilleri's story is powerful and haunting.
-Quill & Quire

— Quill and Quire

Within these angry, defiant, brave and at times, heartbreaking pieces . . . lie some essential truths about gender, about being both queer and feminine.

— Herizons

There is a lot of great writing here . . .
-BiWomen: The Newsletter of the Boston Bisexual Women's Network

— BiWomen

A gritty anthology that questions the nature of femininity itself.
-Toronto Star

— Toronto Star

Brazen Femme is a brave and necessary book, written with honor and longing and truth. And much like strutting around in a pair of stiletto pumps or lacing on a skin-tight merry-widow, it leaves the kind of impression that is well worth some minor discomfort.
-Books in Canada

— Books in Canada

Finally: intelligent, well-written diatribes on everything from personal experiences with femme-identity to comics to poems about love to transphotos.
-Trade Queer Things

— Trade Queer Things

A bold, groundbreaking collection on the nature of femmes and femme identity.
-Lambda Book Report

— Lambda Book Report

. . . a bold, exciting collection. . .

— Yesportal.com
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Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

About the Authors

Chloe Brushwood Rose

Author profile page >

Anna Camilleri

Artist Anna Camilleri has been hailed as a "tough, visceral and funny" (Atlanta Journal Constitution) "cultural agitator and fab femme" (Now Magazine) – "this lady in red has an important message to share" (Quill and Quire). She has performed for the last decade in Canada and the US in theatres, festivals, universities, and in houses of ill-repute. Recent work includes one-woman show Sounds Siren Red (Red Dress Productions), performance installation Poetry Is Not a Luxury (Mayworks) and experimental documentary Red Dress (CBC Radio 1, Outfront). In Toronto, her hometown, she has also curated performance programs for Mayworks Festival of Working People in the Arts, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and Inside Out.

She is the author of I Am a Red Dress: Incantations on a Grandmother, a Mother and a Daughter (Arsenal Pulp Press), editor of Red Light: Superheroes, Saints and Sluts(Arsenal), co-author of Boys Like Her: Transfictions,and co-editor of Brazen Femme: Queering Femininity (Arsenal). Her writing has been alternately described as "brave and necessary" (Books in Canada); "provocative and evocative" (Xtra); "genuine and unflinching," and as "speaking eloquently of the need for civil rights for all of us' (Lambda Book Report). Her online domain is annacamilleri.com

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