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A Queer and Pleasant Danger: A Memoir Hardcover – May 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807001651
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807001653
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #794,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Brave, emotionally authentic, and riveting.”—Bitch 

“A nervy, expansive memoir from a pioneering gender activist.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A singular achievement and gift to the generations of queers who consider her our Auntie, and all those who will follow.”—Lambda Literary
 
“Disarmingly funny and a pleasure to read … I think everyone can gain something from Kate’s honest, brave account.”—Feministing.com

"This memoir shines a bright, unflinching light on those reasons and the consequences of living on the far edge of the fringe… With the brave, adventurous life she's led, Bornstein gives us a reason to keep on living, too.”—Bitch Magazine blog

“Kate Bornstein is brave. She is very, very brave. Her memoir, A Queer and Pleasant Danger, should be located in all three of the LGBT, self-help and biography sections of your local library and bookstores.”—EDGE 

"This memoir manages to be both wrenchingly transformative and luminously wondrous, a sumptuous literary combination.”—Pride Source 

A Queer and Pleasant Danger is not for the faint-hearted, for reasons that become fairly evident (see: sadomasochism), but is ultimately uplifting, hopeful, even joyous…”—Shelf Awareness

“This is a softer, sometimes sorrowful, side of the always-outspoken Kate Bornstein, and I loved it…A Queer and Pleasant Danger is a wildly wonderful read.”—Long Island Pulse Magazine

“Bornstein is hilarious, honest, acerbic, and fearless in her writing…QAPD is at least three books in one, each of which is a page-turner.”— Religion Dispatches

"Kate Bornstein's journey from moon-eyed Scientologist to queer icon is harrowing, heartbreaking, and amazing.  This narrative is surely not for the squeamish.  And yet, in the story of a sea-dog named Al who became a trans goddess named Kate we see the messy, unsettling, inspiring struggle of a lady trying--and at last succeeding—to let her own soul be known.  Disturbing and wondrous."—Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She’s Not There and I’m Looking Through You

“Breathless, passionate, and deeply honest, A Queer and Pleasant Danger is a wonderful book. Read it and learn.”—Samuel R. Delany, author of Dhalgren

"To me, Kate Bornstein is like a mythological figure or a historical literary character such as Orlando or Candide who, by illustrating her struggles, shows the rest of us how to live. This book is destined to become a classic."— Mx Justin Vivian Bond, author of Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels

"A Queer and Pleasant Danger is a brave, funny, edgy, and enlightening new memoir. I loved it and learned from it. Kate Bornstein shares her fascinating journey—through gender, Scientology, and more—and it was a thrill to tag along on the ride. This book is unbelievably powerful and affecting. If Kate Bornstein didn't exist, we would have to invent her. But luckily for queers, straights, gender outlaws, and general readers, Bornstein is out and out there."—Dan Savage, author, columnist, and architect of the "It Gets Better Project"

"There are a number of adjectives that one could use to describe A Queer and Pleasant Danger: snarky, funny, anguished, frightening, heartbreaking, brave, honest...this is a book that is dangerously appealing." –The Gay and Lesbian Review, July-August issue


 

About the Author

Kate Bornstein is a performance artist and playwright who has authored several award-winning books, including Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and The Rest of Us, My Gender Workbook, and Hello, Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws. She has earned two citations of honor from the New York City Council and garnered praise from civil rights groups around the globe. Kate lives in New York City with her girlfriend, three cats, two dogs, and a turtle.

More About the Author

Kate Bornstein is a performance artist and playwright whose latest book was released May 1, 2012--a memoir, A QUEER AND PLEASANT DANGER, with the subtitle, "The true story of a nice Jewish boy who joins the Church of Scientology and leaves twelve years later to become the lovely lady she is today."

Kate has authored several award-winning books in the field of Women and Gender Studies, including GENDER OUTLAW: ON MEN, WOMEN, AND THE REST OF US, and MY GENDER WORKBOOK which she is currently updating for a second edition after 15 years.

Her 2006 book, HELLO, CRUEL WORLD: 101 ALTERNATIVES TO SUICIDE FOR TEENS, FREAKS, AND OTHER OUTLAWS propelled Kate into an international position of anti-bully advocacy for marginalized youth which has earned her two citations of honor from the New York City Council and garnered praise from civil rights groups around the globe. Kate's books are taught in five languages in over 200 colleges and universities around the world.

Kate lives in New York City with her girlfriend, three cats, two dogs, and one turtle.

Photo Credit: Barbara Carrellas, 2012.

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Customer Reviews

Really very interesting.
K. Hobbs
After only reading about gender from Kate, I was pleasantly surprised by the breadth of topics covered, especially the in-depth discussion of Scientology.
Courtney Tobin
For everyone who has gone through life living life as they feel it must be lived, and been persecuted for it, this book is for you.
Jared

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I'm not really sure what can I say about Kate Bornstein's new memoir, A Queer and Pleasant Danger, other than WOW! This an amazing, intense, heartfelt read that's goes far beyond questions of gender and sexuality to examine, really, what it means to be human.

Written in a casual, conversational, sometimes rambling manner, this is a very easy book to enjoy. One of its many quirks that I found so delightful was the way in which Kate would tell a story, swear it was the honest-to-gosh truth, then turn around a page or so later and admit that it was a lie. In most cases, they were stories she believed wholeheartedly for years - until she shared them and was promptly shot down by her brother. It's a quirk that not only adds a bit of a comic feel to some chapters than definitely need a pick-me-up, but it's also a playful element that ties into Kate's personality.

Really, this is three memoirs in one, as the extended title suggest: A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The true story of a nice Jewish boy (1) who joins the Church of Scientology (2) and leaves twelve years later to become the lovely lady she is today (3).

Let's start with the nice Jewish boy. Kate (then Albert) realized at the tender young age of four-and-a-half that she wasn't a boy and, therefore, must be a girl. With that self-realization, a youth of lying to the world, putting on an act, and hiding her true self began.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jared on May 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book in just three days.

For many people who are familiar with Kate, this book is a fascinating journey from point A to point Z. In that sense, it demonstrates the vast magnitude of life. Her journey stretches from Jewish boy to fabulous gender outlaw, with a pit stop as a high ranking official in the Scientology universe.

The book overall, demonstrates a great sadness, as it opens and closes with an appeal to Kate's daughter, who remains in Scientology, and has not had contact with Kate since Kate was excommunicated by the church. Despite this sadness though, Kate's style of writing remains as playful as ever. She is a suberb storyteller, and she plays with the reader, sometimes poking fun of what is real and what is imagined, and leaving the reader to wonder if it even matters what is true or not. She at least confesses to the truth at some point after every lie (at least to my knowledge), which is another important statement:

Living a lie is okay if we can someday have the bravery to face the truth.

This book is unbelievably brave. The ramifications of writing about Scientology especially is expressed early in the book. Kate could easily find herself the brunt of a wave of Scientology harassment. The church may never admit to this policy, she states, but it exists.

For everyone who has gone through life pretending to be something they're not, this book is for you.

For everyone who has gone through life living life as they feel it must be lived, and been persecuted for it, this book is for you.

For everyone interested in transforming their suffering into a positive message for others, this book is for you.

For anyone who might just be a wee bit curious about the life and times of one of the most renowned gender outlaws in the world, this book is for you.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Denise Brennan on June 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What an amazing memoir of Kate Bornstein's life!

It included a lot about her days in scientology and how she lost her daughter to them.

My God one day she gets back to Clearwater, Florida from a scientology "mission" and takes her daughter to school. But then she is forced to undergo what is called a "gang bang sec check" by scientology's "International Finance Police". Here she is falsely accused of all sorts of crimes, screamed at by a group of scientology goons while being on their version of a crude lie detector. Kate is then immediately routed off scientology's staff (this is 1982) without so much as being able to say "goodbye" to her family who were made to disconnect from Kate.

Now she has two grandchildren who she has never even seen. And she loves them and her daughter very much. In the book Kate tells her daughter her story and why she never came back that day and how she tried to reconnect. She hopes that someday her daughter/grandchildren will get out and be able to read this book written for them.

One can feel the honestly in this book and the pain. Kate tells of her being at the point of suicide when her ex wife hung up on her and would not let her speak with her daughter.

I am ASHAMED to have ever been a friend of Kate's EX!!!

Kate offers her daughter/grandchildren some advice on life and a home should they ever need it, although she does not suspect she will live all that much longer.

It was heartbreaking!!!

Scientology is so unbelievably cruel and dangerous. And my heart goes out to Kate. I also feel sorrow for her loved ones who are IMO yet another family that has been devoured by organized scientology for worldly gain.
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