Huw Lemmey and Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore: The Gentrification of Queer Desire
The MIT Press Podcast
Writer Huw Lemmey (Chubz, Red Tory, Unknown Language) speaks with Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore about her most recent book The Freezer Door and searching for connection in a world that enforces bland norms of gender, sexuality, and friendship. Produced by Sam Kelly Mixed by Samantha Doyle Soundtrack by Kristen Gallerneaux
Our Age of Nostalgia, with Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
"The opposite of nostalgia is truth." So writes Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore in her new book The Freezer Door. We discuss how nostalgia fuels gentrification, why our streaming services are full of shows set in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, and how Patti Smith's "Just Kids" inspired suburbanites to flood into New York City. Support this podcast: http://patreon.com/publicintellectual http://jessacrispin.com
Queering the Military (with Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore)
Jessa invites author Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore (The End Of San Francisco) onto Public Intellectual to discuss the transgender military ban & the role of marginalized people in challenging dominant institutions of oppression, specifically the American Military & marriage. Does being accepted into these institutions count as social progress? Is it furthering the cause of equality? Or is it strengthening the institutions that have always and will continue to oppress marginalized people?
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is the author of a memoir and three novels, and the editor of five nonfiction anthologies. Her new novel, Sketchtasy, was named one of the Best Books of 2018 by NPR Books.Her memoir, The End of San Francisco, won a Lambda Literary Award, and her previous title, Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform, was an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book.Her next book, The Freezer Door, will be published in fall 2020. Watch out, world…This is her second interview, the first one can be heard here.
Sketchtasy takes place in that late-night moment when everything comes together, and everything falls apart: it's an urgent, glittering, devastating novel about the perils of queer world-making in the mid-'90s. This is Boston in 1995, a city defined by a rabid fear of difference. Alexa, an incisive twenty-one-year-old queen, faces everyday brutality with determined nonchalance. Rejecting middle-class pretensions, she negotiates past and present traumas with a scathing critique of the world. Drawn to the ecstasy of drugged-out escapades, Alexa searches for nourishment in a gay culture bonded by clubs and conformity, willful apathy, and the spectre of AIDS. Is there any hope for communal care? Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore brings 1990s gay culture startlingly back to life, as Alexa and her friends grapple with the impact of growing up at a time when desire and death are intertwined. With an intoxicating voice and unruly cadence, this is a shattering, incandescent novel that conjures the pain and pageantry of struggling to imagine a future.
AEWCH 57: MATTILDA BERNSTEIN SYCAMORE or THE STATE OF QUEER 2019
Against Everyone with Conner Habib
I speak with author, editor, and queer legend Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore about all things queer in the past and future. We discuss the failures of gay marriage and truvada, the trans military ban, masculinity, and why old ways of belonging need to die. Hold onto your flowery, bedazzled hats.
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is the guest. Her new novel SKETCHTASY is available from Arsenal Pulp Press. Described as "startlingly bold and provocative" by Howard Zinn, "a cross between Tinkerbell and a honky Malcolm X with a queer agenda” by the Austin Chronicle, and “a gender-fucking tower of pure pulsing purple fabulous” by The Stranger, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is the author of a memoir and three novels, and the editor of five nonfiction anthologies. Sycamore's memoir, The End of San Francisco(City Lights 2013), won a Lambda Literary Award, and her most recent anthology, Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform (AK Press 2012), was an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book and a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award.Mattilda's novels include So Many Ways to Sleep Badly (City Lights 2008) and Pulling Taffy (Suspect Thoughts 2003). She is the editor of four additional nonfiction anthologies, Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity (Seal 2007), That’s Revolting! Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation (Soft Skull 2004; 2008), Dangerous Families: Queer Writing on Surviving (Haworth 2004), and Tricks and Treats: Sex Workers Write about Their Clients (Haworth 2000), which now also appears in Italian (Effepi Libri 2007).Mattilda has written for a variety of publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle, BOMB, Bookforum, The Baffler, the New York Times, New Inquiry, Los Angeles Review of Books, Truthout, Time Out New York, Utne Reader, AlterNet, Bitch, Bookslut, and The Stranger, and for ten years, Mattilda was the reviews editor and a columnist for the feminist magazine Make/shift.Mattilda made a short 16mm film, All That Sheltering Emptiness, in collaboration with Joey Carducci. The film premiered in 2010, and has screened around the world.Mattilda created Lostmissing, a public art project about the friend who will always be there, and what happens when you lose thatrelationship.Mattilda’s activism has included ACT UP in the early ‘90s, Fed Up Queers in the late ‘90s, Gay Shame, and numerous lesser-known (or even unnamed) groups.Mattilda's papers are archived at the San Francisco Public Library, and are accessible to the public.Mattilda lives in Seattle, Washington, but will be on tour for Sketchtasy from fall 2018 through spring 2019. In the past, she has appeared in independent bookstores, community centers, performance venues and universities across the US (and Canada), from Yale to Evergreen, UCLA to Harvard to Mills to McGill.Mattilda loves feedback, so contact her, okay?Mattilda is now on Twitter. Don't tell anyone, but she kind of loves it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In Shelf Awareness, a reviewer of Mattilda Berstein Sycamore's latest book "Sketchstasy" wrote, “If you've heard her read, you know Sycamore's voice is one in a zillion. She’s at her very best in Sketchtasy.” Click Play to (literally) hear for yourself. Largely self-educated and widely read, Mattilda is wise and whimsical. It's a magnetic combination. Her reading story takes an important turn when she moves to San Francisco at 19 and meets a vibrant queer community that loves to read as much as she does.