Summer Fun (Hardcover)
Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
From acclaimed author Jeanne Thornton, an epic, singular look at fandom, creativity, longing, and trans identity.
Gala, a young trans woman, works at a hostel in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. She is obsessed with the Get Happies, the quintessential 1960s Californian band, helmed by its resident genius, B----. Gala needs to know: Why did the band stop making music? Why did they never release their rumored album, Summer Fun?
And so she writes letters to B---- that shed light not only on the Get Happies, but paint an extraordinary portrait of Gala. The parallel narratives of B---- and Gala form a dialogue about creation—of music, identity, self, culture, and counterculture.
Summer Fun is a brilliant and magical work of trans literature that marks Thornton as one of our most exciting and original novelists.
About the Author
Jeanne Thornton is the author of the novel The Dream of Doctor Bantam and the collection The Black Emerald, both shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Award. She is the editor, with Tara Madison Avery, of We’re Still Here: An All-Trans Comics Anthology, the copublisher of the independent press Instar Books, and the writer and illustrator of the webcomics Bad Mother and The Man Who Hates Fun. Her work has appeared in Wired, n+1, and The Evergreen Review.
Praise for Summer Fun
“I anticipated the release of Summer Fun for six years, and now that I finally got to read it, its characters and story will linger with me much longer than that. I suspect it will come to be considered the Pet Sounds of trans literature: a masterpiece that feels both astonishingly new and comfortingly familiar.”
—Torrey Peters, author of Detransition, Baby
"There is no way to prepare for Summer Fun; we can only submit to Thornton's surreal, captivating and startlingly sui generis world. Summer Fun is a fully realized vision so strange and compelling that even in writing this blurb I still can't quite shake the sensation of having genuinely known these characters, if only for a short and magical while."
—Jordy Rosenberg, author of Confessions of the Fox
“A beautiful, mesmerizing volcano of a novel that elegantly vibrates with the intimate weight of decades. Thornton's prose is driving, joyous, and steeped with a grace reminiscent of Marilynne Robinson. It all builds to an ending that is no less than perfect. This book made me cry.”
—Casey Plett, author of Little Fish
“Jeanne Thornton is a sorceress of a writer and, like the ritual at the heart of this book, Summer Fun is a singular and compassionate act of imaginative magic. A feast of contradictions at once funny and painful, tender and scathing, patriotic and radical, Summer Fun contains generations; our country; a world.”
—Rachel Lyon, author of Self-Portrait with Boy
“In Summer Fun, Jeanne Thornton, that slow-burn superstar, has dropped a punk’s pop masterpiece—a compulsively readable novel that somehow also reinvigorates the form of the epistolary novel, dives into the deepest reflective waters of fandom, observes trans-cis relations with social-realist precision and generosity, and recovers the trans throughline that was always there. We are so lucky to live now, when we get to read this book.”
—Andrea Lawlor, author of Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl
“Gala is obsessed with the Get Happies, and has dedicated her life to finding out why they stopped making music and how she can get them to reunite. She’s writing these letters as part of a ritual — Gala is spiritual, chaotic, and impossibly endearing — and she needs to believe not only in the possibility of more music, but also in the magic she’s drawing upon to make it happen. But as much as the letters are about the Get Happies, they are also, despite her insistence otherwise, about Gala herself. With intimacy and yearning, Thornton captures the intensity of fandom and self-discovery, of our relationships with art and each other, and the transcendent joy of truly being seen.”
“The epistolary form lends itself well to the theme of extreme fandom and the soulful self-discovery of transgender identity . . . Thornton wrings a great deal of heart and soul from this earnest confessional.”
Praise for Jeanne Thornton
“Dr. Bantam is pure Americana, cinematic and idly mean. It’s lush and trashy. I guess it’s the most graphic-novelly feeling book about loss I can think of. It’s all punk heart, messily thudding.”
—Eileen Myles, author of Chelsea Girls
“The gorgeousness of Thornton’s writings help sustain the worlds she creates . . . That’s the kind of seductiveness these stories have. In reading them, you become strange and dreamy in the same way they are.”
—Torrey Peters, author of Detransition, Baby
“Jeanne has this way of writing self-consciousness inside these perfect, self-contained worlds with signifiers that make them seem like they are the world we live in but if that world were . . . I don’t even know exactly. Mystifying and uncomfortable and bulging with complicated, contradictory feeling just below the surface of everything.”
—Imogen Binnie, author of Nevada