by Eli Clare
South End Press
In these interconnected essays, Eli Clare vibrantly describes the "rednecks" and clearcuts she grew up among, the "freak shows" of the nineteenth century, and the "transgender warriors" of today. Her intelligence and wit illuminate her ruminations on cerebral palsy, child abuse, nature, pornography, sexuality, and class.
Exile and Pride is grounded by Clare's childhood memories of playing in the Oregon mountains and of her increasing realization of the environmental destruction caused by the logging and fisheries industries that employed her neighbors. This disillusionment with trusted sources of safety and belonging echoes with the prejudice she experiences due to her cerebral palsy and with the terror of sexual abuse that filled her childhood. Her self-imposed exile from her hometown remains a tangle of grief and relief, but Clare highlights the pride she has built through participating in the liberation movements of disabled people and queers of all stripes.
In Exile and Pride, Eli Clare uses her own multiple loyalties as a lens to examine identity politics and political agency in the face of systemic oppression and interpersonal abuse. Imaginative and engaging, Exile and Pride will appeal to a wide array of readers.