A Dream of a Woman
Longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize
Award-winning novelist Casey Plett (Little Fish) returns with a poignant suite of stories that center transgender women.
Casey Plett's 2018 novel Little Fish won a Lambda Literary Award, the Firecracker Award for Fiction, and the Amazon First Novel Award. Her latest work, A Dream of a Woman, is her first book of short stories since her seminal 2014 collection A Safe Girl to Love. Centering transgender women seeking stable, adult lives, A Dream of a Woman finds quiet truths in prairie high-rises and New York warehouses, in freezing Canadian winters and drizzly Oregon days.
In "Hazel and Christopher," two childhood friends reconnect as adults after one of them has transitioned. In "Perfect Places," a woman grapples with undesirability as she navigates fetish play with a man. In "Couldn't Hear You Talk Anymore," the narrator reflects on her tumultuous life and what might have been as she recalls tender moments with another trans woman.
An ethereal meditation on partnership, sex, addiction, romance, groundedness, and love, the stories in A Dream of a Woman buzz with quiet intensity and the intimate complexities of being human.
- Long-listed, Scotiabank Giller Prize 2021
- Short-listed, Publishing Triangle Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature 2022
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
Casey Plett transports the reader from Pilot Mound, Manitoba, to Portland, Oregon, and back, tying together alternating perspectives and places with direct and detailed prose that's both heart-rending and heartwarming. -Chatelaine
Plett tells beautiful stories of trans women as they exist in the world: tangible, fallible, tender and hardened. -Xtra
In A Dream of a Woman, connecting to yourself and the world doesn't seem to come from checking in with yourself and your body again and again. It comes from losing yourself in another and in the process, stumbling along the way into a closer relationship with your body and the world. -Maisonneuve
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. -The Globe and Mail ("The Globe 100")
Plett's voice is strong and fully realized in this collection. The language is tight and matter-of-fact, but also beautiful and sweeping in a way that makes you forget it's there. Plett wields language masterfully to share many vastly different trans experiences with readers. -Prairie Fire
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 as they cover topics like a woman returning to her Mennonite roots while visiting a lover and another leaving the Portland's queer utopia to transition in New York's anonymity. -Autostraddle ("Best Queer Books of the Year")
A Dream of a Woman is Plett's best work to date and reminds us that she is one of our finest writers. There is something powerfully intimate about the voices of the characters paired with the matured texture of the prose. Told with exquisite beauty and a lack of pretense, these emotionally vibrant stories come alive in their quiet moments. -Literary Review of Canada
Both bittersweet and beautiful, Plett writes perfectly imperfect characters that make you feel less alone. -The Independent (UK)