We're pleased to welcome Iván Monalisa Ojeda to our At Home with Literati Series in support of Las Biuty Queens. He/she will be joined in conversation by author Rakesh Satyal.
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In this acclaimed story collection, Chilean transgender performer and author Iván Monalisa Ojeda delivers an irreverent, honest and full-throated love song to New York City from the perspective of a group of trans Latinx immigrant friends who walk the streets, get high, compete in beauty contests, look for clients on their impossibly high heels, and fall prey to increasingly cruel immigration policies.
Drawing from his/her own experience as a trans performer, sex worker, and undocumented immigrant, Iván Monalisa Ojeda chronicles the lives of Latinx queer and trans immigrants in New York City. Whether she is struggling with addiction, clashing with law enforcement, or is being subjected to personal violence, each character choses her own path of defiance, often responding to her fate with with irreverent dark humor. What emerges is the portrait of a group of friends who express unquestioning solidarity and love for each other, and of an unfamiliar, glittering and violent, New York City that will draw readers in and swallow them whole.
On every page, Iván Monalisa's unique narrative talent is on display as he/she artfully transforms the language of the streets, making it his/her own -- rich with rhythm and debauchery. This bold new collection positions Ojeda as a fresh and necessary voice within the canon of world literature.
Iván Monalisa Ojeda was born in the late sixties in southern Chile and grew up on the shores of Lake Llanquihue. He/she studied theater at the University of Chile, in Santiago, and when he/she got his/her degree, Iván Monalisa settled in New York, where he/she currently lives. He/she is the author of an essay collection, La Misma Nota, Forever (Sangria Publishers, 2014) and has written articles for magazines and plays. In addition to being a writer, he/she is a performer and is at work on a novel. He/she lives in Washington Heights, New York.
Rakesh Satyal is the author of the novels Blue Boy and No One Can Pronounce My Name. He is an Executive Editor at HarperOne, a division of HarperCollins, and currently serves as Vice President of the board of Lambda Literary.