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Presented by State Library Victoria

Finding Nevo discussion post: tell your story

Alrighty, who is ready for some lit chats?

Everyone got their copy of Finding Nevo? How are you travelling with it – have you ripped through it or are you taking your time, savoring every page?

I read the whole book in only a couple of sittings, I found the flow of the prose—combined with stark but beautifully framed epiphanies about gender, sexuality and identity—really pulled me in and wouldn’t let go.

At the moment, there is a huge (and long overdue) push for better representation of marginalized communities in literature, and the popularity of memoir and the rise of the #ownvoices movement is a big part of that push. Finding Nevo is a good example of an #ownvoices story but as Nevo writes:

“there is no single trans narrative. This is my experience and my experience alone.” (p.75)

What do you think is the significance of this statement? Why do you think they have included it in the book?

Why do you think memoir is so prominent and popular in the current literary landscape? Do you enjoy reading memoir? Why/why not?

3 comments

damnedmonkey

There's no telling how many outside forces influence the living of a trans life, whether it is one lived in relative comfort, free from violent and aggressive persecution against their sexuality or a life where it is the opposite. Nevo feels that, for all the stares and comments, the screams on the bus (which shook me) someone else has it worse or better, someone else is having a worse time appeasing their dysphoria. Nevo asks us to be understanding of all trans people and acknowledge that the trans-phobia we may have may not have been as prominent in their live as it may be in other people's lives.

1w ago
rhapsody

What I found most enthralling in this book was their maturity and understanding of themself and those around them. I have never met a single person who has said that they were a bully when they were younger before, and Nevo does this, not to portray themself as a villain or someone cruel, but to show that they have had difficulties with expressing their emotion and making friends. They understand and grow from these experiences and this makes Nevo's story so powerful. How much they understand themself as a growing changing human. This isn't just a trans story, this is a story about coming to terms with who you are and I think everyone should read it because everyone will get something out of it.

1w ago
sylvs

So I finished the book Finding Nevo before the end of 2018 and having read the book, I think that Nevo wrote that statement in because going through a gender transition is different for everyone. It depends on things like how you might handle the change and the dysphoria. Nevo knows this and is trying to make the reader understand their point of view and make them know that gender transitioning is something each trans person finds different. I never really read a memoir like this before but I was definitely enjoying it. It was like you could go inside the life of Nevo in a very personal way which couldn't be done if they just sat across from you and told you about it. I think memoir/biographies are getting more popular because they can definitely change your mindset or the way you think about things which is why they are so very powerful.

4d ago