ECKLEBURG BOOK CLUB | Gender Failure by Ivan E Coyote and Rae Spoon

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Gender Failure by Ivan E Coyote and Rae Spoon

Being a girl was something that never really happened for me.―Rae Spoon

Ivan E. Coyote and Rae Spoon are accomplished, award-winning writers, musicians, and performers; they are also both admitted “gender failures.” In their first collaborative book, Ivan and Rae explore and expose their failed attempts at fitting into the gender binary, and how ultimately our expectations and assumptions around traditional gender roles fail us all.

Based on their acclaimed 2012 live show that toured across Canada and the US and in Europe, Gender Failure is a poignant collection of autobiographical essays, lyrics, and images documenting Ivan and Rae’s personal journeys from gender failure to gender self-acceptance. Equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking, it’s a book that will touch LGBTQ readers and others, revealing, with candor and insight, that gender comes in more than two sizes.



Ivan and Rae have written a magical, down-to-earth, painfully honest step beyond any predetermined transgender narrative that I know of. At times hilarious, at times heartbreaking, their storytelling is top-notch. This book is unputdownable.
—Kate Bornstein, author of A Queer and Pleasant Danger

Brutally honest, tenderly funny and totally real, this multimedia collaboration makes for a dynamic, beautiful and important piece of literature.
—Michelle Tea, author of Valencia

This book profoundly changed my life; I will step into the word and lexicon of ‘gender’ differently, I will never be in my body in the same way, I am a different reader forever, and I am grateful. Gender Failure will take you apart and put you back together—I laughed my ass off, I cried my heart out, I yelled my head off, and I ended up in the only place that matters: love, compassion, with our whole bodies.
—Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Chronology of Water and Dora: A Head Case


Publisher Information

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press (July 3, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1551525364
  • ISBN-13: 978-1551525365
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches



Ivan Coyote was born and raised in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. An award-winning author of six collections of short stories, one novel, three CD’s, four short films and a renowned performer.

Montreal’s Rae Spoon is a songwriter, film score composer, music producer, multi-instrumentalist and published author. They have a voice that will stop you in your tracks and a story like no other. Rae started out making folk music, and later added indie-rock, experimental and electronic elements to their sound. The result is strong songwriting with unique instrumentation. They have toured extensively in Canada, the USA, Europe and Australia. Rae has been nominated for the Polaris Music Prize in both 2009 and 2014, as well as for the CBC Radio 3 Bucky Awards. They won the Galaxy Rising Star Award in 2004.

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Eckleburg is a print and online literary journal that offers original fiction, poetry, essays, music, art, writing workshops and more.