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Bad Habit

"Beautiful and brutal, a young trans woman tries to find models for how she can live in suburban Madrid "

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Our unnamed narrator is a lyrical and sensitive storyteller, conjuring her world with jolting metaphors, sharp wit, and tender poetry. She doesn’t hold back any punches on brutality, but she also savours moments where she can elevate humans’ ability to be soft and lovely.

Our unnamed narrator is a young trans woman, growing up in a hand-to-mouth suburb in Madrid, ever-watchful and sensitive to the ways in which her neighbours model and police gender, sexuality, class. As a child she is drawn to figures like the witch known as The Wig, and the gentle trans woman Margarita, who her neighbours treat with respect, but outsiders mock even in her most vulnerable moments. We’re moved and scared on her behalf, as our narrator navigates all her coming-of-age milestones on such risky margins: her first tender kiss, (‘That kiss, my first, was prefaced by a rush of thoughts of every horror story I had witnessed or heard in my life about people life me. [...] ‘“You like good?” asked Jay, with mistaken words but with such perfect, charming delivery that it set off my bad habit of crying over everything.’) As she finds a way to live a double life in downtown Madrid, playing at being macho son by day and seductive nymph by night, she meets a cast of her own supportive angels, like the owner of a gay cafe and a close-knit community of older sex workers. 

Lily Lindon

Star Books

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Primary Genre Modern and Contemporary Fiction
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