In the first of three acts, Ponyboy‘s titular narrator–a pill-popping, speed-snorting trans-masculine lightning bolt–unravels in his Paris apartment. Ponyboy is caught in a messy love triangle with Baby, a lesbian painter who can’t see herself being with someone trans, and Toni, a childhood friend who can actually see Ponyboy for who he is. Strung out, Ponyboy follows Baby to Berlin in act two, where he sinks deeper into drugs and falls for Hart, a fellow writer, all the while pursued by a megalomaniacal photographer hungry for the next hot thing. As Ponyboy’s relationships crumble, he overdoses and find himself alone in his childhood home in Nebraska. The novel’s final act follows Ponyboy to rehab, exploring the ways in which trans identity, addiction, and recovery reforge the bond between mother and child. Eliot Duncan reveals, in precise atmospheric prose reminiscent of Anne Carson and Allen Ginsberg, the innate splendor, joy, and ache of becoming oneself.