Dean, a 22-year old female-to-male-transsexual, is no LGBT poster boy. Unemployed, depressed, mid-transition, friendless, and still living in the upstairs bedroom of his parents’ house in a conservative suburb, he can think of little to do but write his memoir. In the third person, he tells the tale of his would-be love affair with his college roommate, Colin, another trans man with a girlfriend and ...
Dean, a 22-year old female-to-male-transsexual, is no LGBT poster boy. Unemployed, depressed, mid-transition, friendless, and still living in the upstairs bedroom of his parents’ house in a conservative suburb, he can think of little to do but write his memoir. In the third person, he tells the tale of his would-be love affair with his college roommate, Colin, another trans man with a girlfriend and a successful indie rock band. The plot is interrupted intermittently by Dean’s first person commentary, often criticizing middle-class conformity—but the queer counter culture as well. He is obsessed with Morrissey of The Smiths and wants nothing in life other than the same level of fame. As his far-fetched dreams become a foreseeable reality, he must decide between honesty and belonging, conformity or isolation, community or self.
Refuse is an urgent novel that speaks to the alienation of transgender youth and will ring true to many outsiders, over-thinkers, and underachievers. It tackles the pressing concerns of depression, suicide, unemployment, and discrimination, oscillating between irreverent wit and sincere confessions. A manifesto, a transgender narrative, a coming of age tale, a satire, an homage to a musical legend, and a star-crossed love story, Refuse is “irresistible.”
Refuse is a stunning debut “novoir” about an over-observant young outsider with really great hair who is outside everything – including the transgender community – but keeps a great deal bottled up inside. Funny, cynical, tough, vulnerable, honest, deluded, sagacious, self-loving and self-loathing, Refuse is irresistible.
Absynthe Magazine, University of Trent.
- Evelyn Deshane
...after you have become so saturated with overzealous queerness and an almost evangelical devotion to the idea of gender itself, along with a few shame and guilt cycles, Refuse will feel as if it’s pulling you out of the vortex of your own creation and telling you to just calm down… The transgender narrative form is still very new. Right now, there is not a lot of variation on the themes involved, but Refuse is a step in the right direction.
Amos Lassen Reviews
- Amos Lassen
DeLine has a wonderful comic sense and his book will open your eyes and entertain you at the same time. While he himself does not put himself into any one community, he can still write about whichever he chooses and does it well. It is amazing to see both his audaciousness and vulnerability
Out in Print: Queer Book Reviews
- Kent Britnall
Elliott DeLine is an ambitious, witty, self-deprecating, thoughtful writer whose debut novel Refuse could meaningfully be compared to the work of Dennis Cooper (with far less violence), Brett Easton Ellis (with far fewer chemical substances), David Sedaris (with not as many belly laughs) and Leslie Feinberg (with a much less mournful air). DeLine pushes back against the familiar, and safe, conventions...with this his debut effort, DeLine is a writer to watch.
Elliott Lawrence Renehan DeLine (born 1988) is a novelist, short story writer, and essayist from Syracuse, NY. He graduated from Syracuse University in 2012 with a BA in English. His first book, Refuse, was a finalist in the LGBT Rainbow Awards (2011). He was the 2011 recipient of the Louise Weatherbee Phelps Award for outstanding upper-division writing at Syracuse University. His work has been featured in several publications, including the Modern Love essay series of The New York Times (2011), and The Collection, an anthology of transgender fiction from Topside Press (2012). He is a regular blogger for the premier FTM magazine, Original Plumbing. He currently lives with his family and cat in North Syracuse, where he writes and works at two libraries.