Sunday, August 3, 2014

Ariel Schrag

Ariel Schrag is a writer for The L Word and the author and illustrator of a series of graphic memoirs (Potential, Likewise) and newly released debut novel Adam.

From her Q & A with Heather Seggel at Slate:

In just the past few years, trans visibility has increased, and transpeople have begun to receive more respect and consideration. Your novel is comic in tone and often ironically grapples with trans-related issues. Did you worry about charges of trivializing the lives of transpeople by taking this approach?

The premise of the novel is supposed to be provocative. It’s supposed to ignite feelings of “Oooh, that’s ‘problematic,” Fiction should get people thinking and talking and the idea of a cis teenage boy passing as a trans man brought up many issues and questions for me, which is why I wrote Adam. I don’t believe a premise alone can be trivializing. If someone finishes the book and finds the story trivializing, I’d be interested to hear why. If you haven’t read the book, I’d ask that you refrain from forming an opinion until you do. Gender and sexual identity are things I’ve struggled with in my personal experience and the lesbian/trans subculture of the East Village/Williamsburg is the world I’ve lived in for the past 15 years, so though told through a cis straight boy’s eyes, it’s a novel that’s very close to me.

In terms of issues around gender, what changes have you seen between 2006 and today?

Much has changed in terms of trans visibility in the past eight years and I don’t believe Adam would make sense set in the present day. Adam posing as a trans man comes out of his initial ignorance about trans people in general. Because, in 2006, trans identity is ...[read on]
Adam is one of Emily Gould's six favorite books.

--Marshal Zeringue