Violence and anal bleeding aren’t the only routes to feminist literary empowerment; Eileen Myles’ semi-autobiographical novel of artistic and sexual awakening, in which a young poet comes up and triumphs against racism, sexism and homophobia. In addition to mythic descriptions of New York as an accessible city for artists, it’s got some great sentences, and infuriating antifeminist experiences give way to comic optimism by the novel’s end.

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