by Casey Plett
We need community to live. But what does it look like? Why does it often feel like it's slipping away?
We are all hinged to some definition of a community, be it as simple as where we live, complex as the beliefs we share, or as intentional as those we call family. In an episodic personal essay, Casey Plett draws on a range of firsthand experiences to start a conversation about the larger implications of community as a word, an idea, and a symbol. With each thread a cumulative definition of community, and what it has come to mean to Plett, emerges.
Looking at phenomena from transgender literature, to Mennonite history, to hacker houses of Silicon Valley, and the rise of nationalism in North America, Plett delves into the thorny intractability of community's boons and faults. Deeply personal, authoritative in its illuminations, On Community is an essential contribution to the larger cultural discourse that asks how, and to what socio-political ends, we form bonds with one another.
"Don't expect to walk away from On Community with easy answers. Plett refuses to explore the titular concept 'blithely' or to simplify it 'to the point of untruth.' Splitting it into practical and theoretical definitions is 'too simple.' Instead, she weaves together a nuanced narrative that unpacks the term's intricacies while maintaining its importance."
-- Literary Review of Canada
"Plett reflects on her Mennonite roots, trans literature, nationalism, Silicon Valley, and the idea of family, in this consideration of how and why we manage to live together at all." -- Quill and Quire
About the Author:
Casey Plett is the author of A Dream of a Woman, Little Fish, and A Safe Girl to Love, the co-editor of Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy From Transgender Writers, and the publisher at LittlePuss Press. She has written for the New York Times, Harper's Bazaar, the Guardian, Globe and Mail, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, the Winnipeg Free Press, and other publications. A winner of the Amazon First Novel Award and the Firecracker Award for Fiction, and a two-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award, her work has also been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.