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The Crack Magazine


Against Memoir

Michelle Tea, And Other Stories

Michelle Tea is an American author, poet and literary arts organiser whose best-known works are in fiction and memoir with particular emphasis on queer culture, feminism and race. This is the first collected volume of her journalism, and, rather like her other written work, she draws heavily on her own experiences to inform and illuminate them. My favourite piece sees her rocking up at Camp Trans in Michigan. This was the name of an annual demonstration, and festival, which was set up in opposition to, and near by, the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival when Nancy Burkholder was ejected from the latter in the 1990s because she was transgender. Informative, considered and fair-minded Tea tackles this tricky subject with both wit and candour. Elsewhere she’s outing SCUM manifesto author Valerie Solanas as an absurdist, while also maintaining that extraordinary polemic was about class more than anything else; remembering the lesbian motorbike gang HAGS; and putting up a doughty defence of pigeons.