Friday, April 26, 2024 - 6:30pm
Brazos Bookstore --
2421 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX 77005-1451

Brazos welcomes Emma Pérez in-store on Friday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m.

Imprisoned by the totalitarian government, Dr. Benito Espinoza practices for his weekly interrogations by recounting his story to his thirteen-year-old daughter. He tells her about turning his back on his ability to shift his gender from male to female—to Alejandra—to become a scholar in the Grand Library. Most academics are Residents who inherited their seats and believe Descendants like Ben don’t have the intellectual ability to be a person of letters.  

Ben conforms to the laws against transmuting, so he manages to secure a place in the library. His life’s purpose is to prove Descendants are as capable as Residents. But an encounter with a clever, beautiful Descendant leads to his unwitting participation in the rebellion against the Impresario and his White Guards. Soon the shifter is involved with the Rebels, trying to save a younger generation of Descendants and shifters from the horrific experiments and violence perpetrated against them. 

In a non-linear narrative in which “time is false,” author and scholar Emma Pérez offers a fascinating speculative novel about alternate histories, while pondering race, discrimination and transgender people.

“A fixture of queer, Chicana feminist studies, historian and professor Pérez offers a scathing look at where society could be headed in the midst of woke wars with the criminalization of trans- and gender-nonconforming bodies and the desire to suppress the Other. For fans of Ursula K. Le Guin and Margaret Atwood, Testimony of a Shifter is the queer, feminist dystopian novel readers have been searching for.”—Booklist

EMMA PÉREZ is the author of numerous books, including Testimony of a Shifter (Arte Público Press, 2023), Queering the Border (Arte Público Press, 2022) and The Decolonial Imaginary: Writing Chicanas into History (Indiana University Press, 1999). Her novel, Forgetting the Alamo, Or, Blood Memory (University of Texas Press, 2009), received the Christopher Isherwood Writing Grant, the National Association for Chicana/Chicano Studies Regional Book Award for fiction in 2011 and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards in 2010.  Her book, Electra’s Complex (Bella Books, 2015), is a mystery that mocks the perils of academe. Pérez was born in El Campo, Texas, and lives in Tucson, where she teaches at the University of Arizona.

Testimony of a Shifter By Emma Pérez Cover Image
ISBN: 9781558859791
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Arte Publico Press - October 31st, 2023