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Nevada by Imogen Binnie Review

Title: Nevada

Author: Imogen Binnie

First published April 2, 2013

288 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9780374606619 (ISBN10: 0374606617)

Rating: 4.04


Nevada by Imogen Binnie is a timeless and breathtaking journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. Follow the story of Maria Griffiths, an almost thirty-year-old trans woman, who works at a used bookstore in New York City, struggling to uphold her punk values.

Her life spirals out of control when she breaks up with her girlfriend, Steph, and embarks on a cross-country road trip in a stolen car. Her journey leads her to the small town of Star City, Nevada, where she meets James, who may or may not be trans.

As Maria tries to navigate her own life, she becomes a role model for James, and the two embark on a journey of self-discovery together. Imogen Binnie’s Nevada is a gripping and heart-wrenching coming-of-age story that explores what it means to be marginalized under capitalism.

A beloved cult classic and finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Fiction is back in print with a new afterword by the author, making it a must-read for a new generation.

About the Author

Imogen Binnie is a talented writer who has contributed to various publications and media. For almost a decade, she wrote a monthly column for Maximum Rocknroll magazine, and she also created the zines The Fact That It’s Funny Doesn’t Make It A Joke and Stereotype Threat.

Her novel Nevada gained recognition, went out of print, and then was republished and rediscovered. Imogen has written for several television shows, including Doubt, Council of Dads, and Cruel Summer.

She even wrote a unique adaptation of the movie “Love, Actually” with transgender characters set in Burlington, Vermont. Although she couldn’t film it because of legal restrictions, she shared it on Twitter for all to enjoy.

Imogen also hosted a podcast called Imogen Watches Classic Films for a few years. While it’s unclear where she lives, she likely resides with her loved ones.

Editoral Review

Nevada by Imogen Binnie is a groundbreaking novel that offers a candid and unflinching exploration of transgender identity, mental illness, and addiction. Binnie is an accomplished writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including Maximum Rocknroll and Aorta.

Nevada, her debut novel, was first published on April 2, 2013, and quickly gained critical acclaim for its fearless portrayal of a transgender woman’s search for identity and self-acceptance. The novel, set in contemporary New York City, follows the story of Maria Griffiths, a transgender punk rock musician and the narrator of the book.

Maria is a flawed and complex character who struggles with addiction, depression, and the challenges of living as a transgender woman in a society that marginalizes and stereotypes her. When her girlfriend breaks up with her, Maria embarks on a road trip to Nevada, where she hopes to find a sense of belonging and purpose.

Throughout the novel, Binnie interweaves themes of gender identity, self-discovery, and transformation. She also explores issues of class, race, and privilege, as well as the impact of trauma and social isolation on individuals who are deemed “other” by mainstream society.

One of the strengths of Nevada is Binnie’s deft handling of complex and sensitive subject matter. She portrays the transgender experience with nuance and empathy, avoiding stereotypes and cliches that are often prevalent in mainstream media.

Binnie’s writing is raw and powerful, and her vivid descriptions bring the characters and settings to life. Another strength of the novel is its unique style and structure.

Binnie employs a non-linear narrative that includes flashbacks, dreams, and stream-of-consciousness passages. This adds depth and complexity to the story and immerses readers in Maria’s psyche, allowing us to experience her struggles and triumphs firsthand.

However, the novel can also be challenging at times, particularly for readers who are not familiar with the transgender experience or the intricacies of punk rock culture. Some readers may find the language and imagery unsettling, while others may struggle with the disjointed nature of the narrative.

Overall, Nevada is a stunning debut novel that deserves to be read by a wide audience. It is a powerful and resonant work that speaks to the struggles and triumphs of those who live on the margins of society.

If you are interested in exploring issues of gender, identity, and transformation in a unique and authentic way, then Nevada is the perfect book for you.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.