Venus as a Boy

Venus as a Boy

by Luke Sutherland

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596919167
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 12/18/2008
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 160
File size: 510 KB

About the Author

Luke Sutherland grew up in the Orkney Islands. He is the author most recently of Sweetmeat, and his first novel, Jelly Roll, was shortlisted for the 1999 Whitbread First Novel Award. He has never before been published in the U.S. He is also known for his musical collaborations with bands such as Mogwai and Long Fin Killie, and for his personal music project, Bows.
Luke Sutherland is a writer and musician. He grew up in the Orkneys and now lives in London. He is the author of two other novels, Jelly Roll, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award, and Sweetmeat.

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Venus as a Boy 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
aulsmith on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Too post-modern for me. I found the stuff in the Orkneys interesting, but when the story moved to Scotland, I bogged down. Since the author had told me the end already, I found no reason to keep reading.
Mimicman on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Perhaps it marks the shift away from multiculturalism in British society that a Black British author can legitimately deal with the issues of identity and difference without feeling the need to play the "race" card. That is not to say that issues of race and racism are not dealt with here, rather they contribute to a multi-focal engagement with many aspects of marginalised experience.Faithfully recorded by the text's author "L.S.", Venus as a Boy is posited as the faithful transcript - "a memorial of sorts" - of a series of autobiographical recordings made by the novel's hero/ heroine, Desirée. "L.S." and Desirée share the same Orcadian roots and the experience of being miss-fits within a closed island community where ethnic and gendered identities are predicated on long and isolated traditions. Desirée learns very quickly that survival in this environment depends on the ability to assume identities, to make and break alliances, whilst retaining any sense of "true" identity within oneself. Whether this is manifested in wearing girl's panties under outwardly male attire, or by keeping close company with the local bully in order to gain respect amongst one's peers, it is clear from this novel - were there any remaining doubt - that identity is politics.Desirée's destiny is changed forever by the discovery of a peculiar penchant for sex, as much metaphysical as physical - and the instilling of a spiritual and vocational sense of purpose which ultimately leads her to a transgender brothel in Soho, the heart of London's sex industry. Her experiences there, at the hands of an Eastern European immigrant pimp, bring about a transformation which fuses her physical being to her perceived spiritual calling. The layers of her outer self begin to peel away to reveal, perhaps, the value and worth of her inner self.There is little obvious optimism in this novel, at least in terms of the here and now. Neither, however, is there a true spirit of tragedy; redemption is possible, as are happiness, peace and true love. Form must serve function, however, and the fluid and multiple identities that we occupy and switch between deny us the holism required for comfort in who we really are. Finding ourselves, under all the layers of carnival and masquerade, is almost impossible within society and culture: life as we know it.