Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"An End to Easy Answers," indeed -- a beautiful review of The End of San Francisco in Tikkun!!!

As its title suggests, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s searing new memoir chronicles a series of losses in Sycamore’s queer activist life, but none of these losses evokes traditional nostalgia for an earlier, happier time. Instead, each loss is held up to the light to examine how it reflects the contradictions inherent in our attempts to build authentic relationships in a world where personal and structural violence separate us from each other and ourselves. Sycamore repeatedly demonstrates how our efforts to create alternative cultures often replicate the racist, sexist, and homophobic world in which we live. And while this is a heavy theme, reading this memoir is the opposite of a gloomy excavation of Sycamore’s life. Instead Sycamore’s associative, non-linear narrative is filled with sparkling language that illuminates the importance of reaching for connection and alive-ness in the face of brutality and loss.

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