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A Memoir

KB Brookins
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By a prize-winning, young Black trans writer of outsized talent, a fierce and disciplined memoir about queerness, masculinity, and race.


Even as it shines light on the beauty and toxicity of Black masculinity from a transgender perspective--the tropes, the presumptions--Pretty is as much a powerful and tender love letter as it is a call for change. 

"I should be able to define myself, but I am not. Not by any governmental or cultural body," Brookins writes. "Every day, I negotiate the space between who I am, how I'm perceived, and what I need to unlearn. People have assumed things about me, and I can't change that. Every day, I am assumed to be a Black American man, though my ID says 'female, ' and my heart says neither of the sort. What does it mean--to be a girl-turned-man when you're something else entirely?"

Informed by KB Brookins's personal experiences growing up in Texas, those of other Black transgender masculine people, Black queer studies, and cultural criticism, Pretty is concerned with the marginalization suffered by a unique American constituency--whose condition is a world apart from that of cisgender, non-Black, and non-masculine people. Here is a memoir (a bildungsroman of sorts) about coming to terms with instantly and always being perceived as "other"


KB Brookins is a Black, queer, and trans writer and cultural worker from Texas. They are the author of Freedom House and How to Identify Yourself with a Wound. Brookins has poems, essays, and installation art published in Academy of American Poets, Teen Vogue, Poetry Magazine, Prizer Arts & Letters, Okayplayer, Poetry Society of America, Autostraddle, and other venues. They have earned fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, PEN America, Equality Texas, and others.

On social media, @earthtokb


  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
  • Publish Date: May 28, 2024
  • Pages: 240
  • Dimensions: 5.8 X 8.4 X 1.1 inches | 1.0 pounds
  • Language: English
  • Type: Hardcover
  • EAN/UPC: 9780593537145
  • BISAC Categories: Cultural, Ethnic & Regional - African American & Black, Personal Memoirs, LGBT, LGBT Studies - Transgender Studies


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