by Jia Qing Wilson-Yang
Small Beauty tells the story of Mei, a mixed race trans woman managing the death of her cousin, the ways she contorts to navigate racism and transphobia, and her desire for community as she takes an opportunity to leave the city and revisit a town from her family's past, where she discovers queer family history while parsing through her own anger and trauma. Cycling through time, points of view, and rural and city life, the novel introduces us to Mei's community in fictional Dundurn and Herbertsville, loosely based on Southern Ontario places: Annette and Connie, other Asian trans women from the drop-ins; Sandy, Mei's older cousin and constant (if aggressive) support; Diane, an older lesbian with a pick-up and secret links to Mei's blood family; and Nelson, a presence lost before found, whose story is told in pictures sewn into a suitcase. Interspersed with one culminating night-time lake scene, the book carries us through these stories and towards their completion as the frustrating, necessary web that keeps Mei attached to the world.
About the Author:
jia qing wilson-yang is a mixed race trans woman living in Toronto. She likes to write poems and stories and music. Her writing has appeared in Bound to Struggle: Where Kink and Radical Politics Meet (ed. Simon Strikeback) and Letters Lived: Radical Reflections, Revolutionary Paths (ed. Sheila Sampath), and the recent women of colour issue of Room magazine. She has recorded several acoustic albums and this one time was a drummer in a pop punk band.