Dream of a Woman

256 pages

English language

Published Nov. 28, 2021 by Arsenal Pulp Press.

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4 stars (5 reviews)

Casey Plett's 2018 novel Little Fish won a Lambda Literary Award, the Firecracker Award for Fiction, and the Amazon First Novel Award (Canada). Her latest work, A Dream of a Woman, is her first book of short stories since her seminal 2014 collection A Safe Girl to Love. Centering transgender women seeking stable, adult lives, A Dream of a Woman finds quiet truths in prairie high-rises and New York warehouses, and in freezing Canadian winters and drizzly Oregon days.

In "Hazel and Christopher," two childhood friends reconnect as adults after one of them has transitioned. In "Perfect Places," a woman grapples with undesirability as she navigates fetish play with a man. In "Couldn't Hear You Talk Anymore," the narrator reflects on past trauma and what might have been as she recalls tender moments with another trans woman.

An ethereal meditation on partnership, sex, addiction, romance, groundedness, and love, the stories …

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Review of 'Dream of a Woman' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Slice of life was going to be a hard sell for me from the start, but I try to stretch myself in the name of reading from voices other than those like my own.

One of Plett’s strengths for me is her compassion for the people in her stories. She doesn’t excuse their behavior but she writes people who do a mix of right and wrong, sometimes very wrong, in ways that acknowledge the mixed bag people are. I really appreciate that.

I also appreciate how her Mennonite background gives her a nuanced take on conservative religion and the way you might take something good from that experience while at the same time it can cause you great pain.

I liked Hazel and Christopher, Obsolution, Perfect Places, and Enough Trouble the best of the collection. The others were very forgettable for me. And even within the ones I liked there …

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