Writer and performer Ivan Coyote has spent decades on the road, telling stories around the world. For years, Ivan has kept a file of the most special communications received from readers and audience members—letters, Facebook messages, emails, soggy handwritten notes tucked under the windshield wiper of their truck after a gig. Then came spring, 2020, and, like artists everywhere, Coyote was grounded by the pandemic, all their planned events cancelled. The energy of a live audience, a performer’s lifeblood, was suddenly gone. But with this loss came an opportunity for a different kind of connection. Those letters that had long piled up could finally begin to be answered.
Care Of combines the most powerful of these letters with Ivan’s responses, creating a body of correspondence of startling intimacy, breathtaking beauty, and heartbreaking honesty and openness. Taken together, they become an affirming and joyous reflection on many of the themes central to Coyote’s celebrated work—compassion and empathy, family fragility, non-binary and trans identity, and the unending beauty of simply being alive, a giant love letter to the idea of human connection, and the power of truly listening to each other.
In their latest book, Ivan takes on the patriarchy and the political, as well as the intimate and the personal in these beguiling and revealing stories of what it means to be trans and non-binary today, at a time in their life when they must carry the burden of heartbreaking history with them, while combatting those who would misgender them or deny their very existence. These stories span thirty years of tackling TERFs, legislators, and bathroom police, sure, but there is joy and pleasure and triumph to be found here too, as Ivan pays homage to personal heroes like the late Leslie Feinberg while gently guiding younger trans folk to prove to themselves that there is a way out of the darkness.
Rebent Sinner is the work of an accomplished artist whose plain truths about their experience will astound readers with their utter, breathtaking humanity.
Ivan writes about their years as a young butch, dealing with new infatuations and old baggage, and life as a gender-box-defying adult, in which they offer advice to young people while seeking guidance from others. (And for tomboys in training, there are even directions on building your very own unicorn trap.)
Tomboy Survival Guide warmly recounts Ivan’s past as a diffident yet free-spirited tomboy, and maps their journey through treacherous gender landscapes and a maze of labels that don’t quite stick, to a place of self-acceptance and an authentic and personal strength.
Ivan E. Coyote and Rae Spoon are accomplished, award-winning writers, musicians, and performers; they are also both admitted “gender failures.” In their first collaborative book, Ivan and Rae explore and expose their failed attempts at fitting into the gender binary, and how ultimately our expectations and assumptions around traditional gender roles fail us all.
Based on their acclaimed 2012 live show that toured across Canada and the US and in Europe, Gender Failure is a poignant collection of autobiographical essays, lyrics, and images documenting Ivan and Rae’s personal journeys from gender failure to gender self-acceptance. Equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking, it’s a book that will touch LGBTQ readers and others, revealing, with candor and insight, that gender comes in more than two sizes.
Comprised of new stories and others culled from previous collections, One in Every Crowd is for anyone who has ever felt different or alone in their struggle to be true to themselves. Included are stories about Ivan’s own tomboy past in Canada’s north, where playing hockey and wearing pants were the norm; and about her adult life in the big city, where she encounters both cruelty and kindness in unexpected places. Then there are the tales of family and friends who live their lives by example, like Francis, the curly-haired little boy who likes to wear dresses, and the brave kids she meets at queer youth camp.
in the summer of 2009, butch writer and storyteller Ivan Coyote and gender researcher and femme dynamo Zena Sharman wrote down a wish-list of their favourite queer authors; they wanted to continue and expand the butch-femme conversation. The result is Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme. The stories in these pages resist simple definitions. The people in these stories defy reductive stereotypes and inflexible categories. The pages in this book describe the lives of an incredible diversity of people whose hearts also pounded for some reason the first time they read or heard the words “butch” or “femme.”
In their passionate and humorous new collection, Ivan takes readers on an intimate journey, both literal and figurative, through the experiences of their life: from their year spent in eastern Canada, to their return to the west coast, to travels in between. Whether discussing the politics of being butch with a pet lapdog, befriending an effeminate young man at a gay camp, or revisiting a forty-year-old heartbreak around her grandmother’s kitchen table, Ivan traverses love, gender, and identity with a wistful, perceptive eye and a warmth that’s as embracing and powerful as Ivan themself.
With The Slow Fix, Ivan returns to their short story roots in a collection that is disarming, warm, and funny while at the same time subverting our pre-conceived notions of gender roles. In “By Any Other Name,” Ivan gets into some serious male bonding with her Uncle Rob; in “The Curse?” a cousin’s stepdaughter helps her to overcome their lifelong dread of buying tampons; and in the title story, Ivan does their best to fix what’s wrong in the world by telling the homophobe in the barber’s seat next to theirs to shut up.
Ivan excels at finding the small yet significant truths in our everyday gestures and interactions. By doing so, Ivan helps us to embrace not what makes us women or men, but human beings.
Bow Grip, Ivan’s long-awaited first novel, is a breathtaking story about love and loneliness, and the long road one must travel between them. Joey is a good-hearted, fortysomething mechanic from small-town Alberta whose wife has recently left him for another woman. When a stranger named James approaches his shop and agrees to purchase a beat-up blue Volvo in exchange for a beautiful, hand-crafted cello, Joey sees it as an opportunity to finally make some overdue changes in his life.
In Loose End, their third story collection, Ivan focuses attention on the city: urban life, specifically in the East End of Vancouver, a diverse neighborhood of all types—old, young, gay, straight, white, black, Asian—communing at local coffee bars over hot rods, the art of skinny-dipping, and changes in the weather. Ivan presides over this circus of activities with their cool gaze, whether it’s trying to impress the woman with the hot tub next door, or showing their mother how to use a cordless drill.
The characters in One Man’s Trash make evident the child in all of us, when heroes and superheroes won the day. Tales of being on the road: to the northern tundra or the southern desert, through cities and towns, on horses, in trucks and vans, with friends, family, and lovers.
This is a collection of journeys, adventures, and quests. The moral of these stories is that the games people play are not much different than those played by children. In achingly personal tones, Ivan E. Coyote paints beautiful and honest portraits of life, the road, and the spirits within.
Close to Spider Man marks the debut of an exciting new literary talent: a collection of connected stories whose female narrators seek out lives for themselves amidst the lonely, breathtaking landscape of the Yukon. The young people in Ivan Coyote’s deeply personal stories are looking to make a break from their circumstances, but the North is in their bones: so is their connections to family, friends, and acquaintances. Like the protagonist in the title story, a waitress whose attempts to help a young co-worker saddled with a lunatic father finds her running across rooftops and climbing ladders; by getting close to Spider Man, she gets closer to freedom.
Boys Like Her
Press Gang Publishers. Out of print. Usually available online.
Only Two Reasons
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You’re a Nation
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