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Casey Plett (CA)

On Community

On Community

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Shortlisted for the 2024 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Nonfiction • Finalist for the 2024 Leslie Feinberg Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature • One of CBC Books' Canadian Nonfiction to Read in the Fall • A Tyee Best Book of 2023 • A CBC Books Best Nonfiction Book of 2023 • A Hamilton Review of Books Best Book of 2023 • An Autostraddle Best Queer Book of 2023

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.

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