Some Strange Music Draws Me In by Griffin Hansbury

Some Strange Music Draws Me In by Griffin Hansbury

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It’s summer, 1984, in blue-collar Swaffham, Massachusetts. Mel is thirteen, drinking a Slush Puppie at the drugstore, when she hears a voice, ‘deep and movie-star dramatic, like Lauren Bacall’: Sylvia.

Sylvia’s shameless swagger and tough-girl trans femininity sparks fury among her new neighbours and throws Mel into conflict with her mother and her best friend. But it is also a catalyst for Mel. She comes to realise that not only is there a world beyond Swaffham, there are other ways of being.

Narrating this blistering coming-of-age tale from 2019 is Max – formerly Mel – who is on leave from his job for defying speech codes around trans identity. Back in Swaffham, he must navigate life as part of a fractured family and face his own role in the disasters of the past.

Some Strange Music Draws Me In is a compassionate, gripping and emotionally charged narrative, peopled by an unforgettable cast of characters bound in electrifying relationships. Griffin Hansbury’s elegant and fearless prose dares to explore taboos around gender and class as he offers a deeply moving portrait of friendship, family and a girlhood lived sideways. A timely and captivating narrative of self-realisation amid the everyday violence of small-town intolerance, Some Strange Music Draws Me In builds to an explosive conclusion, illuminating the unexpected ways that difference can provide a ticket to liberation.