She of the Mountains

She of the Mountains

Paperback - 2014
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A "Globe 100" Best Book of the Year ( The Globe and Mail )

Lambda Literary Award finalist

In the beginning, there is no he. There is no she.

Two cells make up one cell. This is the mathematics behind creation. One plus one makes one. Life begets life. We are the period to a sentence, the effect to a cause, always belonging to someone. We are never our own.

This is why we are so lonely.

She of the Mountains is a beautifully rendered illustrated novel by Vivek Shraya, the author of the Lambda Literary Award finalist God Loves Hair . Shraya weaves a passionate, contemporary love story between a man and his body, with a re-imagining of Hindu mythology. Both narratives explore the complexities of embodiment and the damaging effects that policing gender and sexuality can have on the human heart.

The illustrations are by Raymond Biesinger, whose work has appeared in such publications as The New Yorker and the New York Times .

Publisher: Vancouver : Arsenal Pulp Press, [2014]
ISBN: 9781551525600
Branch Call Number: SHRAYA V
Characteristics: 149 pages : color illustrations ; 21 cm


From Library Staff

Fiction. Bisexual. Two stories are partially in concert with one another: The first is a retelling/reimagining of the Hindu myth of creation; the second details the sexual evolution of a young boy and the girl he loves, despite the voices in his head and those surrounding him, telling him how gay... Read More »

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Jun 12, 2018

A powerful story, beautifully written.

Feb 03, 2018

Imagine a great love epic stripped of all its finery, down to its bare bones, and hold it in your hands like you're trying to drink it as water.

Now, take that image and make it queer.

This is Vivek Shraya's writing, to me.

There are quotations alone in this book that make it worth a 5-star rating.

"Wearing 'queer' allowed him to shed the sense that he was lying to one group or another. His love, and the person he cherished the most, no longer needed to be kept secret. He could be everything all at once.

Ironically, 'queer' meant whole."

Shraya's writing comforts me. This book feels so personal, it's almost as if it came from her.

She calls out queer culture, and how we hold each other up to definitions of what 'gay' is, what 'queer' is, so that we sometimes suffocate each other in our efforts to define ourselves. That is a comfort to me.

The way she finally puts into words what I have felt in myself for so long is a comfort to me.

Her writing is as fierce as it is tender. It is compassion at its best, love born out of a struggle, empowered with knowledge and distilled to a science.

I cry, and Vivek Shraya says, it's alright, you can cry

Mar 20, 2017

A remarkable piece of prose, very short but astonishingly far-reaching. A love story, a bildungsroman and a romp through Hindu mythology all rolled up into one delicious package. Elegantly illustrated with a set of clever, whimsical drawings entirely in black, white and green.

Jun 15, 2016

A bit short and meandering, but absolutely beautifully written. I love the discussion of bisexuality and not fitting in as straight OR gay.

Feb 23, 2015

superb read

quagga Nov 10, 2014

Edmonton-born author Vivek Shraya's playful exploration of queer identity layers Hindu mythology with contemporary life.


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