Kai Cheng Thom is a Canadian writer and social worker.She has published four books, including the novel Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl's Confabulous Memoir (2016), the poetry collection a place called No Homeland (2017), a children's book, From the Stars in The Sky to the Fish in the Sea (2017), and I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl's Notes from the End of the World (2019), a book of essays centered on transformative justice.
Thom's first book, Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl's Confabulous Memoir , was published by Metonymy Press in 2016.It was shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Fiction at the 29th Lambda Literary Awards, and the year after it was published Thom won the 2017 Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging writers. The Dayne Ogilvie jury, consisting of writers Jane Eaton Hamilton, Elio Iannacci and Trish Salah, cited Thom's work as "sheer joyful exuberance, creativity, and talent", calling Fierce Femmes "a delicious and fabulist refashioning of a trans memoir as fiction" and "a genre-breaking refusal of the idea that the only stories trans people have to tell are their autobiographies." In 2019, Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars was chosen by Emma Watson for her online feminist book club Our Shared Shelf.
Thom's debut children's picture book, From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea was published in 2017 by Arsenal Pulp Press.
In 2018, Arsenal Pulp Press published Thom's debut poetry collection a place called No Homeland. The book was an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book in 2018,and was a shortlisted finalist for the Publishing Triangle Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature. Room Magazine called the book a "vulnerable, shimmering debut." Further in the Room Magazine review, the reviewer Adele Barclay writes "Many of Thom’s poems deploy this bold, storytelling voice, foregrounding the wisdom of what is said, experienced, lived, rumoured, and gossiped in lieu of traditional history with its myopia of normativity. a place called No Homeland consistently examines the collisions that marginalized identities encounter. And through this, Thom finds, 'there is a poem waiting deep below.'"
In 2019, Thom published her non-fiction debut, I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl's Notes from the End of the World.It was a 2020 American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book, and won the Publishing Triangle Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature.
In 2020, From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea was selected by Julie Andrews for inclusion in her Julie's Library podcast.
Thom has dual master's degrees in social work and couple and family therapy from McGill University.
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The Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers is a Canadian literary award, presented annually by the Writers' Trust of Canada to an emerging Canadian writer who is part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer community. It is one of two literary awards in Canada serving the LGBTQ community, alongside the Blue Metropolis Violet Prize for established writers.
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The Publishing Triangle Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature is an annual literary award, presented by Publishing Triangle to honour works of literature on transgender themes. The award may be presented for work in any genre of literature; to be eligible, a work of poetry or fiction must be written by a transgender or gender variant author, while a work of non-fiction may be written or cowritten by a cisgender writer as long as it addresses transgender themes.
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Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl's Confabulous Memoir is a 2016 Canadian book by Kai Cheng Thom. A surrealist novel, it follows an unnamed transgender woman protagonist who leaves home at a young age to live on the Street of Miracles—where various sex work takes place—with other "femmes". After one of them is killed, others form a gang and begin to attack men on the street.
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