WINNER, Amazon Canada First Novel Award; Lambda Literary Award; Firecracker Award for Fiction
Finalist, Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award
A Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year
It's the dead of winter in Winnipeg and Wendy Reimer, a thirty-year-old trans woman, feels like her life is frozen in place. When her Oma passes away Wendy receives an unexpected phone call from a distant family friend with a startling secret: Wendy's Opa (grandfather) -- a devout Mennonite farmer -- might have been transgender himself. At first she dismisses this revelation, but as Wendy's life grows increasingly volatile, she finds herself aching for the lost pieces of her Opa's truth. Can Wendy unravel the mystery of her grandfather's world and reckon with the culture that both shaped and rejected her? She's determined to try.
Alternately warm-hearted and dark-spirited, desperate and mirthful, Little Fish explores the winter of discontent in the life of one transgender woman as her past and future become irrevocably entwined.
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Casey Plett is the author of the novel Little Fish (Arsenal Pulp Press) and the short story collection A Safe Girl to Love (Topside Press), and co-editor of the anthology Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers (Topside Press). She wrote a column on transitioning for McSweeney's Internet Tendency and her essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, Maclean's, The Walrus, Plenitude, the Winnipeg Free Press, and other publications. She is the winner of a Lambda Literary Award for Best Transgender Fiction and received an Honour of Distinction from The Writers' Trust of Canada's Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers. She lives in Windsor, Ontario.
Published: March 2020
Originally published by Arsenal Pulp Press
“Little Fish is ultimately not about the past but about the present — and looking forward to trans futures … A friend recently told me that one of the things she appreciates about Plett’s work is how she so clearly writes for trans women. But the novel also deserves a wide audience. Every reader can get this part: being a trans woman is exhausting.” — The Globe and Mail
“Rather than downplaying transness in some effort to normalize or simplify it, Plett centres it . .. While she acknowledges the absolute uniqueness of individual experience, she also honours a loosely held trans culture, a shared palette of pain and loss, and a collective heroism (though the author herself might be reticent to call it that). For those of us outside this experience, we can only count ourselves lucky to have Plett’s novel, a book that invites us to witness something so important, so complex, and so tender.” — Quill & Quire starred review
“A touching and beautiful novel.” — The Independent
“It’s a confident, moving work that reports unflinchingly on the lives of trans women in Winnipeg. But more than that, it’s also an honest and heartbreaking, and sometimes funny, look at a group of friends trying to come to terms with themselves and their world … Little Fish is a powerful and important debut. Plett has masterfully painted her characters as both deeply complex and relatable.” — National Post
“Plett has captured the multitude of emotions and decisions that can overwhelm our lives, from loneliness and self-destruction to the redemptive power of family and self-love.” — The Advocate (“Best Books of the Year”)