Sterling karat gold : a novel

by Waidner, Isabel,

Format: Print Book 2023
Availability: On Order 6 copies
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Like Franz Kafka's The Trial for the post-truth era, at once "surreal, polemical, and fun" ( The Telegraph ).

Sterling Beckenbauer is plunged into a terrifying and nonsensical world one morning when they are attacked, then unfairly arrested, in their neighborhood in London. With the help of their friends, Sterling hosts a trial of their own in order to exonerate themselves and to hold the powers that be to account.

Sterling Karat Gold , in the words of Kamila Shamsie, is "a madly brilliant and deeply sane novel that reveals surrealism as possibly the most effective way of talking about the political moment we find ourselves in." In it, Isabel Waidner concocts a world replete with bullfighters, high fashion, DIY theater, the Beach Boys, and time-traveling spaceships. The acclaimed winner of the 2021 Goldsmiths Prize for fiction that breaks the mold and extends the possibilities of the form, this novel explores the phantasmagoric nature of contemporary life, especially for nonbinary migrants, and daringly revises how solidarity and justice might be sought and won. Sterling Karat Gold couldn't be a better North American introduction to a writer with an irresistible style and unforgettable vision.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Waidner (We Are Made of Diamond Stuff) spins a vivid if unwieldy tale of the fantastical measures a trans playwright takes against hate crimes and persecution. In the surreal opening, narrator Sterling Beckenbauer is attacked with lances by a picador on horseback in a present-day Camden Town estate. They're wearing a flamboyant outfit, but queer people get attacked here no matter what ("I knew a gay who looked straight like a Gap advert," Sterling reflects. "Got hassle still"). Sterling then visits Chacki Smok, their bestie and partner in avant-garde theatre project Cataclysmic Foibles, who presses Sterling to write their next playscript so the pair can collect some much-needed cash. After Sterling is pinched by Kafkaesque cops and charged with assault for the picador incident, Chacki helps Sterling identify two witnesses, sex worker Elesin Colescot and Iraqi immigrant Rodney Fadel, and the four become friends. The line between reality and fantasy becomes increasingly blurred as Sterling's trial turns into a grotesque production of Cataclysmic Foibles, complete with a bird-like judge who's running a crew of transphobic bullfighters bent on destroying Chacki, Elesin, Rodney, and Sterling. Though a thread involving Sterling time-traveling with Rodney spins out of control, Sterling's ideas for their final play make for a satisfying note of revenge. Despite the bumps, this is great fun. (Feb.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Authors -- Fiction.
Gender-nonconforming people -- Fiction.
Working class -- Fiction.
Black people -- Fiction.
Transphobia -- Fiction.
Surrealism -- Fiction.
Immigrants -- Fiction.
Racism -- Fiction.
Victims of political violence -- Fiction.
Trials -- Fiction.
London (England) -- Fiction.
Social problem fiction.
Publisher Minneapolis, Minnesota :Graywolf Press2023
Language English
Awards Winner of The Goldsmiths Prize, 2021
Description 181 pages ; 21 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 179-180).
ISBN 9781644452134
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