Testimony of a Shifter

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Imprisoned by the totalitarian government, Dr. Benito Espinoza practices for his weekly interrogations by recounting his story to his thirteen-year-old daughter. He tells her about turning his back on his ability to shift his gender from male to female—to Alejandra—to become a scholar in the Grand Library. Most academics are Residents who inherited their seats and believe Descendants like Ben don’t have the intellectual ability to be a person of letters.  

Ben conforms to the laws against transmuting, so he manages to secure a place in the library. His life’s purpose is to prove Descendants are as capable as Residents. But an encounter with a clever, beautiful Descendant leads to his unwitting participation in the rebellion against the Impresario and his White Guards. Soon the shifter is involved with the Rebels, trying to save a younger generation of Descendants and shifters from the horrific experiments and violence perpetrated against them. 

In a non-linear narrative in which “time is false,” author and scholar Emma Pérez offers a fascinating speculative novel about alternate histories, while pondering race, discrimination and transgender people.  

About the Author

EMMA PÉREZ is the author of Queering the Border (Arte Público Press, 2022), The Decolonial Imaginary: Writing Chicanas into History (Indiana University Press, 1999), three novels and numerous personal essays. Her novel, Forgetting the Alamo, Or, Blood Memory (University of Texas Press, 2009) received the Christopher Isherwood Writing Grant, the National Association for Chicana/Chicano Studies Regional Book Award for fiction in 2011 and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards in 2010. Her book, Electra's Complex (Bella Books, 2015), is a mystery that mocks the perils of academe. Pérez was born in El Campo, Texas, and lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Publisher: Not Avail
Pub date: October 31, 2023
200 pages
Format: Paperback