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So Many Ways to Sleep Badly author here [5 November, 2008]

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Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore was recently in Chicago as part of a book tour for her latest novel, So Many Ways to Sleep Badly.  The book is about life and politics in San Francisco as seen through the eyes of a radical queer activist.  Sycamore was recently named one of Utne Reader’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.”  Her previous work includes the anthology Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity and the novel Pulling Taffy.

Sycamore read excerpts from So Many Ways to Sleep Badly and then took questions from a packed audience at Women and Children First on October 29.  Questions ranged from queries about Sycamore’s writing process to the possibilities of queer politics.  Speaking about contemporary gay politics and its emphasis on marriage, Sycamore, who’s both an activist and writer, referred to a “gentrification of the imagination.”  One audience member asked about the ongoing expansion of the acronym LGBTQ.  Sycamore, whose work critiques the politics of gay assimilation, said that “identity could be a starting point for going somewhere” but that the problem begins “when it becomes an end point … and a quest for the perfect acronym.”

Originally published in Windy City Times, 5 November, 2008

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