We need community to live. But what does it look like? Why does it often feel like it’s slipping away?
We are all hinged to some definition of a community, be it as simple as where we live, complex as the beliefs we share, or as intentional as those we call family. In an episodic personal essay, Casey Plett draws on a range of firsthand experiences to start a conversation about the larger implications of community as a word, an idea, and a symbol. With each thread a cumulative definition of community, and what it has come to mean to Plett, emerges.
Looking at phenomena from transgender literature, to Mennonite history, to hacker houses of Silicon Valley, and the rise of nationalism in North America, Plett delves into the thorny intractability of community’s boons and faults. Deeply personal, authoritative in its illuminations, On Community is an essential contribution to the larger cultural discourse that asks how, and to what socio-political ends, we form bonds with one another.
Praise for Casey Plett
“Plett has a characteristic style that manages to merge tenderness with Prairie toughness—a style on display in these stories of trans women seeking something—groundedness, maybe, but that dreamlike quality of desire, too.”
—Globe and Mail
“Plett’s trademark skills at authentic characterization, evocative setting, and insight into the lives of trans women are on full display in this superb collection of short stories. The stories crackle with quiet complexity.”
—Autostraddle (“Best Queer Books of the Year”)
“Plett tells beautiful stories of trans women as they exist in the world: tangible, fallible, tender and hardened.”
“I’ve always admired Plett’s ability to capture the tenderest and most complicated intimacies between characters. Exploring addiction, loss, consent, and shifting desires, each story in her extraordinary new collection is somehow even more tender and emotionally complex than the last.”
—Megan Milks, The Rumpus
“Both bittersweet and beautiful, Plett writes perfectly imperfect characters that make you feel less alone.”
—The Independent (UK)