When we announced our 2016 Tiptree Fellows, we also mentioned that we had three honorable mentions this year: K. Tempest Bradford, Emily Coon, and Marianne Kirby. We’re delighted to tell you a little bit about them and their work:
K. Tempest Bradford is a writer of fiction and non-fiction who is best known for her media criticism and activism. She is currently working on her first novel: a steampunk narrative set in Ancient Egypt, which draws from her activism, her cultural critiques, and her desire for a narrative that includes people who look like me as well as other people who don’t often see themselves in fiction. The culture Bradford is building for this alternate history challenges ideas about the role of women in Ancient Egypt held by many Egyptologists and most people with casual knowledge of the dynastic era.
Emily Coon writes about trans relationships and the ways in which trans characters care for one another, particularly outside of a heterosexual monogamous bond and when dealing with living in poverty or near-poverty. They are currently completing a book of short stories that engage the complexities of gender through exploration of the multifaceted, nonbinary, personal intentions as regards gender, by letting the protagonists’ feelings be messy and by there not being a ‘right way’ to experience life as a trans person. In Coon’s writing being trans is a boon, trans people are not assaulted and traumatized simply because of their gender expression, and being trans is not only a process of discovery, but a process that results in collective liberation.
Marianne Kirby writes about fat characters because they have so many stories no one is telling; she writes about queer characters for the same reason. Her first novel, Dust Bath Revival, was published in November and grew out of her deeply held memories, anxieties, and celebrations as a fat, queer, white Southern woman with roots in small town Florida. In the novel the risen dead, the Reborn, are a way to examine the uncontrollable body (especially of women), insatiable hunger whether it be for food or sex, and what it means to embrace that hunger instead of to fight it— to allow one’s body to be out of control.