My dad and I share a weakness for a lady who needs help, it feeds something big and empty in us to arrive on the scene with a truck or jumper cables or a generator or wide open kind of dumb heart...
Ivan E. Coyote is a master storyteller and performer; her beautiful, funny stories about growing up queer in the Canadian north and living out loud on Canada's west coast have attracted big audiences whether gay, straight, or otherwise. Missed Her is Ivan's fifth story collection, following 2008's Lambda Literary Award-nominated The Slow Fix, 2004's Ferro-Grumley Award-nominated Loose End, and 2006's Bow Grip, her novel that was named a Stonewall Honor Book by the American Library Association (now in development as a feature film).
In her passionate and humourous new collection, Ivan takes readers on an intimate journey, both literal and figurative, through the experiences of her life: from her year spent in eastern Canada,to her return to the west coast, to travels inbetween. Whether discussing the politics of being a butch with a pet lapdog, or befriending an effeminate young man at a gay camp, or revisiting a forty-year old heartbreak around her grandmother’s kitchen, Ivan traverses love, gender and identity with a wistful, perceptive eye, and a warmth that's as embracing and powerful as Ivan herself.
Missed Her is full of humorous banter at coffee shops, a diverse portrait of downtown Vancouver and embarrassing, self-revealing tales about family and friends. Throughout her career, Coyote has always come from a place where live performance, storytelling and music converge, where the text and the beat fuse and influence each other.
"My favorite book this year without a doubt has to go to Ivan Coyote’s Missed Her. This collection of short stories are a honest, beautiful and complicated weaving together of queer experience that will break your heart and stitch it back together. ‘Missed Her’ left me cracked open feeling raw and seen in a way that only the very best books are capable of. It’s an absolute must read."
"Despite its brevity, folksiness and humour, however, the book is not what I would call "light". I don't usually get weepy-eyed over prose, and those who follow me on this site will know that I have plenty of shit to cry over, knee-deep as I usually am in Cormac McCarthy and Yukio Mishima novels. Coyote's book is an exception to my usual reading experience. Though less "literary" in certain respects, I found much of it deeply moving and had to dab the corners of the ol' eyes now and then. She hits her targets, bang-on."
"The stories in Missed Her are as fresh and poignant as those in her previous four collections."
What happens when a woman with "dykey clothes" confronts a man with a bushy beard about the lesbian book he's reading? Is life easier for a butch or a lipstick lesbian? Is it better to be queer in Whitehorse, where you're subjected to direct questions, or in Vancouver, where PC politeness masks embarrassed confusion? Missed Her, a collection by Vancouver writer and performer Ivan E. Coyote of her Xtra! West columns, conveys these lifestyle collisions with thoughtful humour.