Little Fish by Casey Plett
Little Fish is the stunning debut novel by the author of the Lambda Literary Award-winning story collection A Safe Girl to Love.
It's the dead of winter in Winnipeg and Wendy Reimer, a 30-year-old trans woman, feels like her life is frozen in place. When her Oma passes away Wendy receives an unexpected phone call from a distant family friend with a startling secret: Wendy's Opa (grandfather)—a devout Mennonite farmer—might have been transgender himself. At first she dismisses this revelation, but as Wendy's life grows increasingly volatile, she finds herself aching for the lost pieces of her Opa's truth. Can Wendy unravel the mystery of her grandfather's world and reckon with the culture that both shaped and rejected her? She's determined to try.
Alternately warm-hearted and dark-spirited, desperate and mirthful, Little Fish explores the winter of discontent in the life of one transgender woman as her past and future become irrevocably entwined.
I have never felt as seen, understood, or spoken to as I did when I read Little Fish. Never before in my life. Casey remains one of THE authors to read if you want to understand the interior lives of trans women in this century. -Meredith Russo, author of If I Was Your Girl
A touching and beautiful novel. -The Independent (UK)
Rather than downplaying transness in some effort to normalize or simplify it, Plett centres it ... While she acknowledges the absolute uniqueness of individual experience, she also honours a loosely held trans culture, a shared palette of pain and loss, and a collective heroism (though the author herself might be reticent to call it that). For those of us outside this experience, we can only count ourselves lucky to have Plett's novel, a book that invites us to witness something so important, so complex, and so tender. -Quill and Quire(STARRED REVIEW)
A hard-hitting, beautiful, and thought-provoking novel ... It will break you, and build you back up. -Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian
Little Fish is ultimately not about the past but about the present -- and looking forward to trans futures ... A friend recently told me that one of the things she appreciates about Plett's work is how she so clearly writes for trans women. But the novel also deserves a wide audience. Every reader can get this part: being a trans woman is exhausting. -The Globe and Mail
There is a dark place most novels don't touch. If you've ever been there, maybe you know how exhilarating it can be to read a book like this, a book that captures the darkness so honestly, so accurately, that you can finally begin to let it go. Fearless and messy and oozing with love, Little Fish is a devastating book that I don't ever want to be without.
-Zoey Leigh Peterson, author of Next Year, For Sure
It's a confident, moving work that reports unflinchingly on the lives of trans women in Winnipeg. But more than that, it's also an honest and heartbreaking, and sometimes funny, look at a group of friends trying to come to terms with themselves and their world ... Little Fish is a powerful and important debut. Plett has masterfully painted her characters as both deeply complex and relatable. -National Post