First Spring Grass Fire

First Spring Grass Fire

Book - 2012
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Rae Spoon has six albums and a Polaris Prize nomination, and they have been published in the anthology Persistence. Now the transgender artist presents a coming-of-age story about growing up queer in a strict Pentecostal family. At first the narrator faithfully attends church with their family. Upon discovering the music that becomes their means of escape, things begin to change. Their father's schizophrenia causes their parents' marriage to unravel, leading them to take comfort in their siblings and in the awareness that they are not the person their parents think they are.
Publisher: Vancouver : Arsenal Pulp Press, [2012]
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9781551524801
1551524805
Branch Call Number: SPO
Characteristics: 137 pages ;,21 cm

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m
maelysmc
Jan 15, 2019

A short autobiographical read of Rae Spoon's childhood. I would recommend pairing this with their album "My Prairie Home", which includes songs that bear the same name as the chapter titles. I'm so glad I read this; there really isn't that much for Canadian queer and trans youth, and anything like this is precious.

b
bell5133
Nov 26, 2018

I didn't like this book. For one, it wasn't told chronologically. It was about a girl named Rae who wanted to do boy things to feel different from her twin sister, whose parents dressed them in identical clothes. She admits to smoking and dressing punk in order to get attention and stand out. So why should I think her claiming to be trans is any different?

Evidence of this pattern of pretending/conforming for attention or to compete with her sister:
1. So when my mother came to me one night when I was four and told me that Karen had just given her heart to Jesus, I was appalled. It made no sense to me that she could be capable of doing something like this before me. After all, wasn’t I the eldest? So I too was born again that night.
2. She was the girl that my parents wanted us both to be, and I was trying to lay low and get away with acting like a boy as much as I could.
3. But I loved it when he (Uncle Carl) paid attention to me
4. It excited me that I could decide something for myself; it was a secret mission that no one knew about and no one could stop. Sometimes I fantasized about everyone finding out and eventually I’d get to be a guest on Oprah . I would tell her the story about my dad and she would listen carefully and with great sympathy.
5. I still wanted to stand out. When I got dressed in the morning, I thought like the anger I felt inside would boil over and onto my outside. By grade nine, my V-neck vests and white Guess jeans failed to get the point across, so I started to dress all in black, ripped-up clothing. Looking at my frayed and oversized clothes in the mirror, I felt that I was getting closer to being cool. So I took it further. I tried to learn how to smoke. It was hard work; first, I had to find cigarettes. I smoked my first one in the bushes at a church picnic. My church friend who really liked AC / DC gave it to me when I caught her smoking and asked if I could join her. After that, I mostly found them on the ground. My sister had started smoking with her friends from school. She and I would spend our summer afternoons combing the ground at the nearby C-Train station. One day we smoked so many stale butts that she threw up on the bus on the way to our grandmother’s house. But by then we were both addicted and it was too late to quit.
6. The day I started smoking publicly, I made a lot of smoke friends at school.
7. There was danger in being different and there was safety in numbers.

l
LDog
May 28, 2013

@Pianotim
From the Griff, at MacEwan University, Doug Johnson explains the memoir to fiction element of this book.
"Though the book is rooted in Spoon’s experience, and the first-person narrator is named Rae, the author carefully defines it as fiction."
More here.... http://thegriff.ca/2012/10/rae-spoon-preview/

I have had the pleasure of meeting this artist, and they are incredibly talented, both in their writing, and singing. Totally worth the time to invest in their music and their stories. Inspiring to say the least! And Rae is also just a very genuine, kind and funny soul.

p
pianotim
May 28, 2013

This is more memoir or autobiography and should not be in the fiction section.

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maelysmc
Jan 15, 2019

maelysmc thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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