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The Slow Fix

The Slow Fix

By Ivan Coyote
Categories: LGBTQ+, Trans Literature, Fiction
Paperback : 9781551522470, 152 pages, 2008
Read Excerpt (PDF)


Shortlisted for a Lambda Literary Award (lesbian fiction)

Ivan E. Coyote is one of Canada's most acclaimed storytellers; their first three collections were insightful, deeply personal stories about gender, identity, and community. Ivan's most recent book, Bow Grip (2006), was their first novel; it won the ReLit Award, was shortlisted for the Ferro-Grumley Fiction Prize in the US, and was named a Stonewall Honor Book by the American Library Association.

With The Slow Fix, Ivan returns to their short story roots in a collection that is disarming, warm, and funny while at the same time subverting our pre-conceived notions of gender roles. In "By Any Other Name," Ivan gets into some serious male bonding with her Uncle Rob; in "The Curse?" a cousin's stepdaughter helps her to overcome their lifelong dread of buying tampons; and in the title story, Ivan does their best to fix what's wrong in the world by telling the homophobe in the barber's seat next to theirs to shut up.

Ivan excels at finding the small yet significant truths in our everyday gestures and interactions. By doing so, Ivan helps us to embrace not what makes us women or men, but human beings.


  • Short-listed, Lambda Literary Award 2009


Simultaneously elegant and down-to-earth.
-Richard Labonte, Book Marks (syndicated)

- Book Marks

Storyteller and author Ivan E. Coyote has carved a career out of finding the homespun humour in everyday (and not-so-everyday) events, and translating that wry sensibility to both the page and the stage. In her latest collection of short stories, The Slow Fix, Coyote revisits the destruction by fire of her Eastside home, her subsequent move to the sticks of Squamish, the effects of globalization on her Yukon hometown, and, of course, the perils of gender politics in Canada today.
-The West Ender (Vancouver)

- The West Ender

Strongly autobiographical in flavor, they celebrate the ties of family, a love for the unspoiled wilderness, and the connections sometimes forged by lonely strangers.
-GLBT Roundtable Newsletter (American Library Association)

- GLBT Roundtable Newsletter

Recognizing the strange in herself and the familiar in complete strangers, Coyote brings humour and honesty to everyday living in a not-so-everyday body.
-OutWords (Winnipeg)

- OutWords

As a frequent traveler, often living in remote areas as a writer-in-residence, Coyote applies a cool observer's eye to both new destinations and the challenges related to her masculine appearance and identity.

- Curve

The Slow Fix is a storyteller's travelogue, an ode to Coyote's Northwestern roots and a guide to navigating public spaces for those who defy the gender expectations of others.

- Herizons

A masterful and powerful collection of stories that stirs the soul and challenges readers' attitudes and preconceptions. Quite simply, it is a collection of stories that anyone should read regardless of race, age, or gender. ... The Slow Fix, through stories that make the reader laugh and cry, is a brilliant addition to the ever-increasing canvas of gay and lesbian literature.
-EDGE Publications (Boston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, et al)


Coyote challenges our views about gender, tells us a little bit about what it's like to be a lesbian in a small town, tells us about her childhood, and in general she entertained me to the end. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading literature that challenges the way that you view the world.
-The Book Chick blog

- The Book Chick

The latest work from deservedly lauded writer/performer Ivan E. Coyote (Loose End, Bow Grip), one of the country's smartest storytellers, displays her well-known fondness for extended "identity" divagations and delightful discourses upon the ways in which her gender confounds those around her. ... If the collection sometimes seems a tad too reportorial, that feature of the telling more than justifies itself by echoing the aims of The Slow Fix's form and content: To subvert gender-role preconceptions, to clear away the sexual and linguistic clutter attaching itself to what 'difference' truly involves, in order to courageously move beyond it, to embrace it with expressiveness and élan.
-The Globe and Mail

- The Globe and Mail

These stories are elegant and homespun, light and piercing, straightforward with a twist. Ivan Coyote unsettles and reassures with a single, skilled stroke.
-Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

- Alison Bechdel

A compelling collection of short stories told with the affectionate frankness of a best friend, The Slow Fix is a wry celebration of family, lovers and identity. Ivan E. Coyote takes readers by the arm to share the romance of girls who dig deep freezes, the joys of drip coffee and, importantly, the task of turning gender on its head. Sharp as ice.
-The Tyee

- The Tyee

Ivan E. Coyote's The Slow Fix tackles issues of gender and identity-formation bravely. ... Like a lighthearted, modern-day Dickens, full of vivid details and characters, Coyote shines when she writes about family and childhood.
-The Malahat Review

- Malahat Review

Canadian storyteller Ivan E. Coyote's The Slow Fix provides an insightful look at just how ingrained gender expectations are in our society. ... Coyote's writing exhibits an unwavering confidence and self-awareness that is refreshing.
-Philadelphia Gay News

- Philadelphia Gay News

Friends, family, and lovers are the lifeblood of Coyote's latest story collection, The Slow Fix. These largely autobiographical pieces are all about connection-or, sometimes, missed connections. ... The wonder of Coyote's stories is that even the straightest reader will be touched by their generous heart, and by the seeming immediacy of their kitchen-table clarity.
-Georgia Straight

- Georgia Straight

(5-star review) These stories are lived-in, full of life, and breathe a little deeper each time one is read. The stories range from emotionally intense roller coasters that make you close the book silently and sit for a moment, mesmerized by the strength of Coyote, or the stories that amuse the 5-year-old boy in all of us.... A brilliantly memorable read.
-Lambda Rising Bookstore (Washington, DC)

- Lambda Rising Bookstore