Please Miss, by Grace Lavery

From Grace’s own newsletter:

“I’ve written a new book… At the core, it’s a transition-memoir-cum-recovery-memoir, with a basic masonic clown-based conspiracy plot ladled on top. But it is also an attempt to write in every genre at once: there’s a little bit of glitzy film noir, a little Yoko Ono, a little Conrad Black. The book is called PLEASE MISS. Three meanings:

  1. Please, call me “miss.”

  2. Pleasure me.

  3. Please don’t hurt me.”

You can pre-order it here; when I went to do so I couldn’t help but notice the related suggestions —

SELF: the algorithm thinks anyone who wants to pre-order your book wants to become the most complicatedly terrifying kind of woman imaginable

GRACE: the three Fs: Fat, Furious, and a Former rabbi

It has the feeling of a book that’s been carefully assembled from a collection of Toynbee tiles (“Toynbee Idea: In Kubrick's 2001, Resurrect Dead on Planet Jupiter”) by a group of very dedicated nuns — every genre imaginable is included at least once, in the interest of collectivity (but not fairness). It also includes one of my favorite jokes Grace has ever made, when she offhandedly indicated her resentment of me (I’d lapped her, so to speak) the day she started hormones:

“By this time, somehow, he had been elected Mister Trans, which was a title I deeply resented, since I had been nourishing some fragment of transness for decades, whereas Lord Rapid Onset over here gets one weird boner, and all of a sudden he’s the masc Caitlyn Jenner.”

[Here’s a primer about the term Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria for those interested in one.] I’m still crestfallen that I didn’t think of “Lord Rapid Onset” first, but I do think it’s fair turnabout, since the day we met I interrupted her in front of her students to ask her point-blank if she was gay. An extravagantly inappropriate speech act, only barely explicable by the fact that I had been very taken aback by how immediately I had fallen for her and luckily redeemed by an affirmative answer later in the evening to the question, “Do you want to be my best friend?” There is more, of course, in Please Miss than the obvious pairings of meeting-marriage and sober-transition — quite a lot more about Juggalos than I would have guessed, for instance — but there is much to be said about (and for!) transitioning around and about and at one’s partner over a five-year period, or my name isn’t Lord Rapid-Onset.