The Freezer Door

Semiotext(e). Dec. 2020. 264p. ISBN 9781635901283. pap. $17.95. MEMOIR
Genderqueer author and activist Sycamore’s The End of San Francisco eschewed the standard structure of memoir for a more free-form narrative of Sycamore’s unusual and vibrant life. This latest work takes a similar tack, with Sycamore ruminating on dancing, sex, and life in the landscape of Seattle through nonsequiturs, stream-of-consciousness reflections, and imagined dialogues. A highly personal, complicated book, by turns blunt and poetic and full of thoughts on belonging and the lack of it, alienation, and the limitations of social convention and gender essentialism; not everyone will find Sycamore’s style or viewpoints agreeable, but readers seeking non-mainstream queer perspectives should consider this challenging but broadening read, which presents observations on connection and loneliness that have the occasional ring of touching on a universal feeling.
VERDICT Those familiar with Sycamore’s writing and activist work will welcome this new installment; those unfamiliar but interested in exploring an unconventional angle on LGBTQ+ issues may find it illuminating.

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