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Fiction General

Rage Letters, The

by (author) Valérie Bah

translated by Kama La Mackerel

Metonymy Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2023
General, Literary, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2023
    List Price

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An exhausted security guard dreams of home. A sculptor and a pothead have great sex -- in the shadow of wax ex-lovers. A diversity workshop devolves into a familiar nightmare.

Throughout this deadpan collection, determined, damned, and triumphant characters appear and reappear, and their links become clear over the course of the fragmented narrative. The author playfully traces the portrait of the intertwined lives of a group of Black queer and trans friends as they navigate the social violence, traumas, and contradictions of their circumstances.

Originally published in French in 2021 by les Éditions du remue-ménage, as part of the Martiales collection, the stories in Bah's The Rage Letters -- set in Montreal and beyond -- are sometimes brief, often conversational, and always generative of possibilities through the characters' desire, rage, and acts of rebellion.

About the authors

Valérie Bah is a Tiohti--:ke-based filmmaker and writer whose work explores intergenerational trauma & healing, as well as mundane/radical acts of survival. Couched in magical realism, Val's narratives are driven by Black feminist thought and lived experience.

Valérie Bah's profile page

Kama La Mackerel is a multi-disciplinary artist, educator, writer, cultural mediator, and literary translator who hails from Mauritius and now lives in Montreal. Their work is grounded in the exploration of justice, love, healing, decoloniality, and self- and collective empowerment. Kama's artistic practice spans across textile, visual, digital, poetic, and performative work, and is at once narrative and theoretical, at once personal and political.

Kama's work has been published both online and in print, including pieces in the Lambda Literary Award-winning anthology Glitter & Grit: Queer Performance from the Heels on Wheels Femme Galaxy (2015) and We Mark Your Memory: writings from descendants of indenture (2018). Their translation of Kai Cheng Thom's From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea was published in French by Éditions Dent-de-lion in spring 2019 and their co-translation of Vivek Shraya's I'm Afraid of Men was published in French by Éditions du remue-ménage in winter 2020.

Kama La Mackerel's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Press coverage for the French edition, Les enragé.e.s:

"Les enragé.e.s describes, in a spirited language, the happy obstinacy of those who, despite setbacks, refuse to let their joy be diminished by the violence of a society that tolerates them only at the price of their silence or their obedience."

-- Le Devoir

"I wanted to relate to something unique to our generation of Black, queer and trans people that our parents didn't necessarily experience. It was important for me to talk about both the shitty jobs and the burnout and the magic of our everyday lives." -- Valérie Bah, from an interview with Journal Métro

Other titles by Kama La Mackerel