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Some Strange Music Draws Me In : A Novel

Some Strange Music Draws Me In : A Novel

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By Griffin Hansbury

A poignant and provocative story of transgender awakening in a working-class American town.

It’s the summer of 1984 in Swaffham, Massachusetts, when Mel (short for Melanie) encounters Sylvia, a tough-as-nails trans woman whose shameless swagger catalyzes Mel’s dawning trans self-awareness. But it also sparks the fury of townie Swaffham and throws Mel into conflict with her mother and best friend. Decades later, Max (formerly Mel) is on probation from his teaching job for (ironically) defying speech codes around trans identity. Back in Swaffham, he must face his own role in the disasters of the past. With the charged teenage emotion of Claire Messud’s The Burning Girl and the propulsive social interrogation of Rebecca Makkai’s I Have Some Questions for You, Hansbury reckons with gender and class as he delivers a timely and captivating narrative of self-realization amid the everyday violence of small-town intolerance. As the story builds to its explosive conclusion, Some Strange Music Draws Me In illuminates the unexpected ways that queerness can provide a ticket to liberation.

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