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Release day for Here Be Monsters
It's finally out!
My latest book is now released into the world.
I decided to not think today, to keep away from screens as much as possible, to get a haircut and buy some tea at a Turkish market, and to just let myself be.
I had a great discussion about the book yesterday with the folks at the It’s Not Just In Your Head podcast. Not sure when it will be released, but one of them asked me: “this is a dangerous book — what made you decide to write it?”
I mentioned this to my husband after the recording, and that word, “dangerous,” took him by surprise. He’s halfway through the book (English is his fifth language, so it’s a bit slow going for him), and the conversations we had while I was writing it were relentlessly amusing. Le wokisme has only just arrived here in Luxembourg, and though he works in culture, he’d had very little exposure to identity politics until last year.
“Dangerous … physically?” he asked.
I shook my head. “No, just risky.”
He laughed. “Yeah, well: no risk, no fun.”
This made me laugh, though it didn’t banish the reality of the matter. While all the responses I’ve gotten from people who’ve actually read it have been extremely positive, there’s always been a small crowd of people who, whenever something I write gets a lot of attention, really go out of their way to smear me. And if this book becomes what I wrote it to become, it’ll get a lot of attention.
Of course, I’m in a much different place (and continent) than I was when most of the things I wrote about occurred. Back then, the occasional threats and much more common cancel-crusades I’d encounter felt world-ending. Here, though, I remember again that it was all just the internet, and the internet can be turned off.
And anyway, it’s a book about how the left has lost its way, becoming derailed by identity conflict and finding “oppression” everywhere, rather than fighting capitalism. So, any crusade against it or me would merely help prove my point.
Back to the matter of it having been “dangerous” to write the book, I think I’d probably fully agreed it was a few years ago. Back then, questioning identitarianism was an invitation for a cancellation, but only because so few were openly doing so. This has changed, and quite quickly. In fact, Here Be Monsters isn’t the only leftist critique of identity politics being released this month, let alone this year.
I’m in pretty good company, but so, too, are the rest of us.
I think enough people have finally realized that social justice identitarianism has not been working even for the people it’s supposedly created for, let alone the left. My book will be a useful guide for people looking for a way out of it, and it won’t be the only — nor the last — guide.
While writing this, a storm has been steadily building outside. We’ve had several weeks of extreme and unseasonable heat and drought, but it’s all shifting. Staring at the sky and feeling the change in the air, I’m both relieved and thrilled, and it feels like it’s the perfect metaphor for how I feel about my book, too.
I really look forward to hearing what you think of Here Be Monsters. And thanks for all your support of my writing all these years.
Read or listen to me read the first chapter here.
Order the book in the US at this link
Or in the United Kingdom at this one
Or pick up a copy from your local bookstore.