Lambda Literary Award finalist
Michael V. Smith is a multi-talented 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 many means to cope and heal.
Drawing on his work as an artist whose work focuses on our preconceived notions about the body, this disarming and intriguing memoir questions what it means to be human. Michael 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, Michael offers a new way of thinking about breaking out of gender norms, and breaking free of a hurtful past.
Michael V. Smith won the inaugural Dayne Ogilvie Prize for Emerging LGBT Writers from the Writers Trust of Canada for his first novel, Cumberland. He’s since published two poetry books and a second novel, Progress. He teaches creative writing in the faculty of creative and critical studies at University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus.