The AMETHYST EDITIONS imprint champions emerging queer writers who employ genre-bending narratives and experimental writing styles, and complicates the conversation around American LGBTQ+ experiences beyond a coming out narrative. AMETHYST EDITIONS is curated by artist and author Michelle Tea.
CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM AMETHYST EDITIONS:
BLACK WAVE by Michelle Tea
"An apocalyptic fantasia." —New York Times
It's 1999—and Michelle's world is ending.
Desperate to quell her addiction to drugs, disastrous romance, and nineties San Francisco, Michelle heads south for LA. But soon it's officially announced that the world will end in one year, and life in the sprawling metropolis becomes increasingly weird.
While living in an abandoned bookstore, dating Matt Dillon, and keeping an eye on the encroaching apocalypse, Michelle begins a new novel, a sprawling and meta-textual exploration to complement her promises of maturity and responsibility. But as she tries to make queer love and art without succumbing to self-destructive vice, the boundaries between storytelling and everyday living begin to blur, and Michelle wonders how much she'll have to compromise her artistic process if she's going to properly ride out doomsday.
In addition to being the fabulous curator of AMETHYST EDITIONS, MICHELLE TEA is the author of numerous books, including Rent Girl, Valencia, and How to Grow Up. She is the creator of the Sister Spit all-girl open mic and 1997-1999 national tour. In 2003, Michelle founded RADAR Productions, a literary non-profit that oversees queer-centric projects.
AGAINST MEMOIR BY MICHELLE TEA
“I gobbled up these essays. Michelle Tea is riotously, wickedly funny, with an uncommon knack for naming the more hideous and complex parts of being human. Her particular genius makes the hardest truths and sorrows an irresistible joy to read.”—Melissa Febos, author of Abandon Me
The razor-sharp but damaged Valerie Solanas, a doomed lesbian biker gang, recovering alcoholics, and teenagers barely surviving at an ice creamery: these are some of the larger-than-life,yet all-too-human figures, populating America’s fringes. Rife with never-ending fights and failures, theirs are the stories we too often try to forget. But in the process of excavating and documenting these lives, Michelle Tea also reveals herself in unexpected and heartbreaking ways.
Delivered with her signature honesty and dark humor, Tea blurs the line between telling other people’s stories and her own. She turns an investigative eye to the genre that’s nurtured her entire career—memoir—and considers the extent to which art preys on life.
SINCE I LAID MY BURDEN DOWN by Brontez Purnell
“Immensely quotable and supremely enjoyable…SINCE I LAID MY BURDEN is a remarkable work of fiction, an invaluable addition to queer literature." — Shelf Awareness
DeShawn lives a high, creative, and promiscuous life in San Francisco. But when he’s called back to his cramped Alabama hometown for his uncle’s funeral, he’s hit by flashbacks of handsome, doomed neighbors and sweltering Sunday services. Amidst prickly reminders of his childhood, DeShawn ponders family, church, and the men in his life, prompting the question: Who deserves love?
A raw, funny, and uninhibited stumble down memory lane, Brontez Purnell’s debut novel explores how one man’s early sexual and artistic escapades grow into a life.
BRONTEZ PURNELL has been publishing, performing, and curating in the Bay Area for over ten years. He is author of the cult zine Fag School, frontman for his band The Younger Lovers, and founder and choreographer of the Brontez Purnell Dance Company. Formerly a dancer with Gravy Train!!!, a queer electro indie band that gained national prominence in the mid-2000s, Purnell's other prominent artistic collaborations include his supporting role in the queer independent feature film, "I Want Your Love" (dir. Travis Mathews, 2012).
He was a guest curator for the Berkeley Art Museum's L@TE program in 2012, awarded an invitation to the 2012 Radar Lab queer arts summer residency, honored by Out Magazine's 2012 Hot 100 List and 2013 Most Eligible Bachelors List, and most recently won the 2014 SF Bay Guardian's Goldie for Performance/Music. He is the winner of a 2018 Whiting Award for Fiction and judge for the Louise Meriwether First Book Prize.
WE WERE WITCHES by Ariel Gore
“We Were Witches moves with punk rock grace and confidence, and I totally loved it.” —Kate Schatz, Rad American Women A-Z
Cashing into the dream that education is the road out of poverty, a teen mom takes a chance on bettering herself, gets on welfare rolls, and talks her way into college. But once she’s there, the phallocratic story of “overcoming” permeates every subject. Creative writing professors depend heavily on Freytag’s pyramid to analyze life. So Ariel turns to a rich subcultural canon of resistance and failure, populated by writers like Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, Gloria Anzaldúa, Tillie Olsen, and Kathy Acker.
Wryly riffing on feminist literary tropes, We Were Witches documents the survival of a demonized single mother. She’s beset by custody disputes, homophobia, and America’s ever-present obsession with shaming odd women into passive citizenship. But even as the narrator struggles to graduate—often the triumphant climax of a dramatic narrative—the question lingers uncomfortably. If you’re dealing with precarious parenthood, queer identity, and debt: What is the true narrative shape of your experience?
ARIEL GORE is a journalist, memoirist, novelist, nonfiction author, and teacher. She is a graduate of Mills College and the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She is the founding editor/publisher of Hip Mama, an Alternative Press Award-winning publication covering the culture and politics of motherhood.
Her memoir, Atlas of the Human Heart, was a 2004 finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Her anthology Portland Queer: Tales of the Rose City won a LAMBDA Literary Award in 2010. She has taught at The Attic Institute in Portland, Oregon, at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and at the Institute for American Indian Arts in Santa Fe.
The Summer of Dead Birds by Ali Liebegott (March 2019)
“A fierce, funny, agonized, cracked-open aria in homage to the presence and passing of fiercely loved things.” —Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts
how does a person dislodge the scenes
that burn inside them like arsoned cars?
Ali Liebegott is reeling from a fresh, painful divorce. She wallows in grief and overassigns meaning to everyday circumstance, clinging to an aging Dalmatian and obsessing over dead birds. Going through the motions of teaching and walking her dog, she eventually decides to hit the road: Ali and Rorschach at the Center of the World.
This autobiographical novel-in-verse is a chronicle of mourning and survival, documenting depression and picking apart failed intimacy. But Ali Liebegott’s poetry is laced with compassion, for herself and the reader and the world, as she learns to balance the sting of death with the tender strangeness of life.
Ali Liebegott is the author of three books, and the recipient of two Lambda Literary Awards and a Ferro-Grumley Award. She currently live in Los Angeles and writes for Transparent.
ORIGINAL PLUMBING: The Best of Ten Years of Trans Male Culture (May 2019) Edited by Amos Mac and Rocco Kayiatos
“This collection is an invaluable, unapologetic archive of a multiplicity of queer and trans experiences.”—Kate Bornstein, author of Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us
Independently published from 2009 to 2018, Original Plumbing grew from a Bay Area zine to a nationally acclaimed print quarterly dedicated to trans men. For nearly ten years, the magazine was the premier resource focused on their experiences, celebrations, and imaginations, featuring writing on both playful and political topics like selfies, bathrooms, and safer sex; interviews with queer icons such as Janet Mock, Silas Howard, Margaret Cho, and Ian Harvie; and visual art, photography, and short fiction.
In conjunction with the magazine’s ten-year anniversary, this essential collection compiles the best of its twenty-issue run. Selections are reprinted in full color, with an introduction by activist Tiq Milan and a new preface by the founding editors. Introduction by Tiq Milan.
Amos Mac is a trans writer and artist based in Los Angeles. Mac’s photography has been featured in publications including the New York Times, Interview, Vogue Italia, Capricious, Dazed, and OUT.
Rocco Kayiatos is a trans educator, writer, and hip hop artist (stage name Katastrophe) based in Los Angeles. He is the former head of the video education department at BuzzFeed, and is currently a visual editor at the digital lifestyle magazine INTO.