Las Biuty Queens

Stories

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Pub Date 01 Jun 2021 | Archive Date 14 Jun 2021

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Description

In this acclaimed story collection, Chilean transgender performer and author Iván Monalisa Ojeda delivers an irreverent, honest and full-throated love song to New York City from the perspective of a group of trans Latinx immigrant friends who walk the streets, get high, compete in beauty contests, look for clients on their impossibly high heels, and fall prey to increasingly cruel immigration policies.


Drawing from his/her own experience as a trans performer, sex worker, and undocumented immigrant, Iván Monalisa Ojeda chronicles the lives of Latinx queer and trans immigrants in New York City. Whether she is struggling with addiction, clashing with law enforcement, or is being subjected to personal violence, each character choses her own path of defiance, often responding to her fate with with irreverent dark humor. What emerges is the portrait of a group of friends who express unquestioning solidarity and love for each other, and of an unfamiliar, glittering and violent, New York City that will draw readers in and swallow them whole.

On every page, Iván Monalisa's unique narrative talent is on display as he/she artfully transforms the language of the streets, making it his/her own -- rich with rhythm and debauchery. This bold new collection positions Ojeda as a fresh and necessary voice within the canon of world literature.

In this acclaimed story collection, Chilean transgender performer and author Iván Monalisa Ojeda delivers an irreverent, honest and full-throated love song to New York City from the perspective of a...


Advance Praise

“Iván Monalisa Ojeda brings to life a breathtaking world of camaraderie, beautiful messiness, pain, and resilience in Las Biuty Queens. He/she offers us captivating snapshots of Latinx trans sex workers living, working, and loving in New York City, telling a story close to my heart: that of keeping one another alive, fed, bailed out, and in deliciously deviant company amidst the harshness of criminalization. This book is like the money a friend slips in your pocket when they know you can't make rent: a fortifying whisper to carry on, and carry each other with us.”

 —Tourmaline, filmmaker and activist

"This story collection marks the arrival of a singular personality with a unique and quintessential American voice. You can’t just read this book; you bathe in its grit, the resilience of its characters and, most of all, its beauty. What a stunning book."

—Jose Antonio Vargas, founder of Define American and author of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen

"Chilean American writer Ojeda dazzles and devastates in this rich collection about a group of trans Latinx immigrants as they try to make it in New York City. . . . Throughout, Ojeda proves to be a captivating presence on the page." 

Publishers Weekly

"No one in Chile writes like Iván Monalisa Ojeda. No one has his/her ease, his/her boldness, his/her tenderness. The stories we find in Las Biuty Queens fiercely depict the life of an undocumented immigrant in New York. Here the glamor and lights coexist with misery and solitude. The American dream doesn't exist. We're left with the fragile voices of this book as they tell, in rabid Spanglish, the story of a nightmare as gorgeous as it is infinite."

—Diego Zúñiga, award-winning author of Camanchaca

“Iván Monalisa Ojeda brings to life a breathtaking world of camaraderie, beautiful messiness, pain, and resilience in Las Biuty Queens. He/she offers us captivating snapshots of Latinx trans sex...


Marketing Plan

National media campaign including print, radio and online coverage * Digital marketing/publicity campaign including features and reviews * Bookseller outreach * ARC giveaways on Goodreads and NetGalley * Excerpts * Library Marketing * Targeted #Bookstagrammer oureach * NPR publicity campaign * Pitch LGBTQ and Latinx media * Pitch for feature stories and author profiles * Multi-month social media prepublication campaign * Highlight in Astra House newsletters and on website * NYC based author: Tri-state bookstore and literary festival appearances 

For publicity and other inquiries please contact Kathy Daneman at kathy@kathydaneman.com

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This is an advance reader’s edition from uncorrected proofs. If any material from the book is to be quoted in a review, please check it against the text in the final bound book. Dates, prices and manufacturing details are subject to change or cancellation without notice.

National media campaign including print, radio and online coverage * Digital marketing/publicity campaign including features and reviews * Bookseller outreach * ARC giveaways on Goodreads and...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781662600302
PRICE $21.00 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

A must read for those who follow or are interested in LGBT + history. It is a hard read but true nonetheless for trans people and sex workers. It is tough, gripping, sad, and beautifully told all at once. I am grateful that I was able to read it and will praise it and encourage everyone to read it.

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This is an autobiographical short story collection about the author, a Chilean transgender performer, and writer. Ojeda shares stories about experiences as a sex worker, undocumented immigrant, and the lives of the other characters she encounters including other queer and trans immigrants. This book is an intriguing look at 90s New York as only someone who was there could write.

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Really enjoyed this collection of stories (is it a memoir-in-stories?). Plainly narrated, loving portraits of the author and friends in 1990s and 2000s New York.

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ks and #Netgalley for my free copy of “Las Biuty Queen” by Ivan Monalisa Ojeda. I love short story collections where the stories are interconnected and the reader has plenty of opportunities to get to know the characters in different settings. In Las Biuty Queen, Monalisa tells us of life for a group of Latinx trans women in New York City, trying to make ends meet by picking up clients in bars or the streets during the early hours of the morning; dreaming about finding love and winning beauty pageants. In and out of jail, persecuted by police and hiding from ICE. Beat by addiction and mental illness. Reminiscing about hard life back home, struggling with bullying, poverty and the uneven burden that patriarchy places on those who society deems as men, demanding self-sacrifice, bravado and toxic masculinity. Life is tough and their prospects scarce but at least they got each other. It sounds like a dark book, but Monalisa manages to make it feel lighthearted, funny and charming. He/she draws these characters based on his/her personal experience and those of his/her friends, inserting him/herself into these stories. He/she thus shows us vignettes of quotidianity full of feeling, resilience and hope. I enjoyed this heartfelt collection where trauma and gender are not directly addressed, a sort of Sex and the City with far more endearing characters. Now excuse me while I try to find everything he has ever written. Monalisa has inserted him/herself into my list of authors to watch.

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Las Biuty Queens provides a glimpse into the life of the Latinx transgender community in New York. It's funny, it's heartbreaking and it's an honest look at this close-knit community. There is a darkness in all the stories as well...but so many of these stories need to be told. I hope that this is just the starting point and this is expanded into full length stories to be shared all over the world. Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read this book.

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