The 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards ceremony took place last Monday, and we are very pleased to announce again that one of our recently published memoirs, The End of San Francisco by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, won the award in the Transgender Nonfiction category.
Mattilda’s book breaks apart the conventions of memoir to reveal the passions and perils of a life that refuses to conform to the rules of straight or gay normalcy. A budding queer activist escapes to San Francisco, in search of a world more politically charged, sexually saturated, and ethically consistent.
Using an unrestrained associative style to move kaleidoscopically between past, present, and future, Sycamore conjures the untidy push and pull of memory, exposing the tensions between idealism and critical engagement, trauma and self-actualization, inspiration and loss. The End of San Francisco explores and explodes the dream of a radical queer community and the mythical city that was supposed to nurture it. The book serves as memoir, social history, and–radically–an elegy for the city of San Francisco.
In his 2013 San Francisco Chronicle review of the book, Michael Bronski wrote, “This journey of a life that begins in the professional upper-middle class … and the Ivy League and moves to hustling, drugs, activism – Sycamore was active in ACT UP and Queer Nation – and queer bohemian grunge, is profoundly American.”
Below is a video of Sycamore reading from the book at City Lights.
The Lambda Literary Awards identify and celebrate the best lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender books of the year and affirm that LGBT stories are part of the literature of the world. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners.