If you could rewrite your whole life, what story would you write for yourself? In her forthcoming experimental novel, Any Other City, Hazel Jane Plante explores the idea of reinvention and building upon a layered past through the fictionalized memoir of Tracy St. Cyr,  a trans indie rock musician with the beloved indie rock band Static Saints

Any Other City is a two-sided fictional memoir that tells the story of Tracy’s life through two sides of a cassette tape. Side A provides snippets of Tracy at 20, a burgeoning artist tentative in life and love in a twisting city full of new experiences, trans friendships and the mistakes of youth. It’s a snapshot of her life from 1993, when Tracy arrives in a labyrinthine city as a fledgling artist and unexpectedly falls in with a clutch of trans women, including the iconoclastic visual artist Sadie Tang.

Flip the cassette; start at a beginning that is not the beginning. On side B Tracy is now 46, a successful semi-famous trans indie rock musician in the same city creating art, healing from trauma through songwriting, queer kinship, and sexual pleasure, and fully immersed in femme friendships and love.

While writing her memoir, Tracy perceives how the past reverberates into the present, how a body is a time machine, how there’s power in refusing to dust the past with powdered sugar, and how seedlings begin to slowly grow in empty spaces after things have been broken open.

Motifs recur like musical phrases, and traces of what used to be there peek through, like a palimpsest. Any Other City is a novel about friendship and other forms of love, travelling in a body across decades, and transmuting trauma through art making and queer sex – a love letter to trans femmes and to art itself.

Available from Arsenal Pulp Press.

Hazel Jane Plante is a librarian, cat photographer, and writer. Her debut novel Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian) (Metonymy Press, 2019) won a Lambda Literary Award and was a finalist for both a Publishing Triangle Award and a BC and Yukon Book Prize. 

A highly acclaimed trans writer, songwriter and musician, Plante’s previous fiction captivated the literary world, becoming a finalist for both a Publishing Triangle award and a BC and Yukon Book Prize. Plante’s unique method of storytelling builds on themes of trans reinvention, layered lives and the idea that everyone has multiple versions of themselves tucked away in the past. At the same time she underscores the rich complexity of trans lives in stratifications of memory, anxiety, triumph, joy, lust and pain. 

Plante also writes songs and plays guitar for the indie rock band Certain Women and occasionally releases solo music under the name lo-fi lioness

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.