Spit & Passion by Cristy C. Road

The memoir is mostly centered around the author's middle school years, growing up in a Cubana household of working class women and children in Miami Beach, coming to terms with the fact of her queerness within a loving family embedded in a deeply religious culture inimicable to homosexuality. 

A lot of the story is about her inner struggles and how she turned to deep attachments to popular culture, which I deeply appreciated. First, Ren & Stimpy, which I would say still to this day influences her art and the way her pen often relishes the blemishes of life. Then, her intense committment to Green Day and the way her obsession with the band influenced her perspectives, relationships, socialization, gender presentation, attempts to fit in, attempts to rebel, attempts to obscure her burgeoning sexuality and her first shy gestures toward coming out. I think my favorite page in the book is her discussion of the band's fraught relationship with its fans, the diehard early supporters who accused them of selling out... but that very act of selling out is all that made it possible for Road to learn of and love them, and provided her glimpses of a radical queer alternative world that exists in the East Bay and gave her a glimmer of hope for more beyond her self-isolation.

I really enjoy Road's art, which is distinctive, bold, prodigious and unapologetically imperfect. I find her writing a bit pretentious and abstract--I think the moments in which we get details of her lives and her interactions with family and friends, the details of her imaginings, are the strongest parts of this book. There were a few too many abstract digressions into poetic self-analysis for my taste, especially the conclusion of the volume. That said, I did like this book overall, I thought it gave a specific, realized, passionate account and I recommend it.

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ISBN: 9781558618077
Availability: Backordered
Published: Feminist Press - October 23rd, 2012