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Author Archive: "Marjorie Celona"

New Orlando

Recently I was invited to give a reading at Colgate University, where I wrote my first novel, Y, while on a one-year teaching fellowship. A handful of my former students accompanied me to lunch the next day, and at some point we fell into a discussion about why the protagonist of my novel, Shannon, was an asexual, androgynous character. One of my students said she hadn't encountered a character like Shannon in literature before; another asked if I could recommend other novels that featured female protagonists who were either androgynous or more masculine than feminine. I said that she would likely find many protagonists like this in LGBT literature — or, at least, it was a place to start. I then suggested Middlesex and its Canadian counterpart, Annabel. She thought a minute. Okay, she said, but she didn't want the protagonist to be androgynous and/or masculine because of her sexuality or genitalia; rather, she wanted to see someone like herself: a heterosexual, though by no means traditionally feminine, woman. A woman who wasn't defined by being a woman.

I had just finished reading Evan S. ...


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