Ivan E. Coyote is one of Canada's best-loved storytellers; their honest, wry, plain-spoken tales of growing up in the Yukon and living out loud on the west coast have attracted readers and live audiences around the world. For many years, Ivan has performed in high schools, where their talks have inspired and galvanized many young people to embrace their own sense of self and to be proud of who they are. One in Every Crowd, Ivan's eighth book with Arsenal Pulp Press, is their first specifically for queer youth.
Comprised of new stories and others culled from previous collections, One in Every Crowd is for anyone who has ever felt different or alone in their struggle to be true to themselves. Included are stories about Ivan's own tomboy past in Canada's north, where playing hockey and wearing pants were the norm; and about their adult life in the big city, where they encounter both cruelty and kindness in unexpected places. Then there are the tales of family and friends who live their lives by example, like Francis, the curly-haired little boy who likes to wear dresses, and the brave kids she meets at queer youth camp.
Funny, inspiring, and full of heart, One in Every Crowd is really for everyone; it's about embracing and celebrating difference and feeling comfortable in one's own skin, no matter what the circumstance.
About the author
Ivan Coyote is the award-winning author, co-author or co-editor of eleven books, including Tomboy Survival Guide, shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Nonfiction Prize and an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book. They are also the creator of four short films as well as three CDs that combine storytelling with music. Ivan is a seasoned stage performer and an audience favourite at storytelling, literary, film, and folk music festivals. Their latest book is Rebent Sinner. Ivan lives in Vancouver.
Coyote's One in Every Crowd is to queer literature what Dan Savage's "It Gets Better Project" is to YouTube. This compilation of personal short stories delivers hope with a healthy dose of reality: you can't always choose your story but you can choose the role you play within it ... Fortunately, Ivan E. Coyote has made a career out of seeking out all queer kids and providing living proof that we are everywhere. Even if it isn't safe to be yourself, you are never alone. Whether you live deep in the Yukon or on the streets of NYC, there will be a community of one or one million to welcome you.
Coyote's kitchen-table style of storytelling is as lively on the page as at her in-person performances. Her vulnerability connects us to her story and helps us remember our own. Stories are a wonderful meeting place showing us where we're different and how we're the same. People of all ages will relate to finding the courage in being true to oneself while seeking acceptance and community.
This book is meant for queer youth, but it will appeal to anyone who struggles to be themselves in a world that rejects difference. Coyote brings her usual wit and grace to stories of growing up as a tomboy, of living life as a butch ... You'll also find a few great love stories and the distinct voice of a writer whose tales stick with you long after you've read them.
The stories in this collection are stunning in every way: unaffected, compassionate, inspirational, and, as if that wasn't enough, achingly funny ... Great writing has the power to enrich lives; not all writing has the power to save them.
--Quill and Quire (STARRED REVIEW)
Sophisticated, earnest, plainspoken and intimate, this collection will speak to LGBTQ youth as well as straight youth, teens and adults.
One in Every Crowd blends humour and heartbreak to relate the struggles of LGBT middle and high schoolers. --The Guardian
Ivan E. Coyote knows the hearts of teenagers. One in Every Crowd is an homage to the outsider: to the young boy who steals his mother's lipstick, to the girl who slip-slides in and out of gender identifications, to the ones who can't put themselves in boxes. To the ones who cannot abide by the binary. It is a love-touched and memory-soaked ballad to queer youth ... One in Every Crowd is a book that belongs in the hands of queer youth and in the hands of their oppressors. It's a heartfelt and rich look at what it's like to be else, to be outside, to toe the lines and then step over them. It can teach, it can support. It's a book that will change readers, and leave them knowing that being changed by it is a privilege.
Queer storyteller Ivan E. Coyote has created a diverse and charming array of vignettes for anyone who has ever fought to find who they really are. --The Advocate
A funny and empathetic collection of more than forty stories ... Teenagers confronting their sexuality, or who have otehrwise felt like outsiders, will feel as though they've gained an ally in Coyote ... These tales of compassionate relatives, finding love, and even the insecurities that stretch into adulthood should provide reassurance that there is indeed life after high school.
One in Every Crowd hits all the bases ... The book's strengths lie in the way you, as a reader, become so connected to the stories and interested in the entire group of family and friends because you know these intimate details about all of their lives and the same characters come up over and over again. You empathize with Coyote's cousin Christopher as a clumsy, awkward kid, you become invested in their father's wellbeing, you worry about the way Francis might turn out - you honestly feel as though you are catching up with a friend over coffee who just happens to tell amazing stories and gesture wildly and gush about the woman they're going to marry. The level of connection this book forms with the reader is unique and not easily achievable, but Coyote does it effortlessly.
One in Every Crowd is Ivan E. Coyote's first book written specifically for queer youth, and, in typical fashion, Coyote's storytelling abilities shine brightly throughout ... Ivan E. Coyote is a truly talented writer and her storytelling never ceases to amaze. Highly recommended.