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‘Can’t get enough of Pose? Then Las Biuty Queens will be your new fave read. Exploring the lives of the Latin American trans community, Biuty Queens effortlessly blends heart and humour while exploring life on the wrong side of the American dream. Ivan Monalisa Ojeda sparkles as one of 2021’s boldest new writers’ Cosmopolitan, Best books to read this summer

‘The American dream as seen from the height of a good pair of heels’ Pedro Almodóvar
Las Biuty Queens: a group of trans Latinx immigrant friends who walk the streets of New York, smoke crystal meth, compete in beauty contests, look for clients on their impossibly high heels and fall prey to increasingly cruel immigration policies.

Drawing from his/her own perspective as a trans performer, sex worker and undocumented immigrant, acclaimed Chilean writer Iván Monalisa Ojeda shines a light on a group of friends trying to survive the dark side of the American Dream and introduces readers to an unfamiliar, glittering and violent New York City that will draw them in and swallow them whole.

‘This is New York, full of beauty and pain – turn away at your own peril’
Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City

‘You can’t just read this book; you bathe in its grit, the resilience of its characters and, most of all, its beauty. Stunning’
Jose Antonio Vargas, author of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen

Reviews

Vibrant, honest, and unfailingly engaging, the stories in this collection are a revelation and a source of great comfort. Ivan Monalisa Ojeda is a thrilling writer and a singular cultural observer
Rakesh Satyal, author of Blue Boy and No One Can Pronounce My Name
Iván Monalisa Ojeda brings to life a breathtaking world of camaraderie, beautiful messiness, pain, and resilience in Las Biuty Queens. He/she offers us captivating snapshots of Latinx trans sex workers living, working, and loving in New York City, telling a story close to my heart: that of keeping one another alive, fed, bailed out, and in deliciously deviant company amidst the harshness of criminalization. This book is like the money a friend slips in your pocket when they know you can't make rent: a fortifying whisper to carry on, and carry each other with us
Tourmaline, filmmaker and activist
These stories are about 'what it means to cross from one side to the other, what it means to get home in one piece...' A crystalline energy tears through these pages and insists we keep our eyes open. This is New York, full of beauty and pain-turn away at your own peril
Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City
This story collection marks the arrival of a singular personality with a unique and quintessential American voice. You can't just read this book; you bathe in its grit, the resilience of its characters and, most of all, its beauty. What a stunning book
Jose Antonio Vargas, founder of Define American and author of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen
No one in Chile writes like Iván Monalisa Ojeda. No one has his/her ease, his/her boldness, his/her tenderness. The stories we find in Las Biuty Queens fiercely depict the life of an undocumented immigrant in New York. Here the glamor and lights coexist with misery and solitude. The American dream doesn't exist. We're left with the fragile voices of this book as they tell, in rabid Spanglish, the story of a nightmare as gorgeous as it is infinite.
Diego Zúñiga, award-winning author of Camanchaca
Monalisa is a legend. She lives in New York as an illegal and her stories are about dressed addicts. A powerful pen. He looks a lot like Lemebel, but he has his own voice. Her personality is even more edge, and she doesn't want to make the world a better place with literature. Of survive on an expensive and tough New York is what it's all about. It's like being in a permanent apocalypse.
Carlos Velázquez
Can't get enough of Pose? Then Las Biuty Queens will be your new fave read. Exploring the lives of the Latin American trans community, Biuty Queens effortlessly blends heart and humour while exploring life on the wrong side of the American dream. Ivan Monalisa Ojeda sparkles as one of 2021's boldest new writers.
COSMOPOLITAN
Chilean American writer Ojeda dazzles and devastates in this rich collection about a group of trans Latinx immigrants as they try to make it in New York City. Stories of drug addiction and police brutality, street queens and beauty contests portray the danger, decadence, and joy in the characters' lives... Throughout, Ojeda proves to be a captivating presence on the page.
Publishers Weekly
Can't get enough of Pose? Then Las Biuty Queens will be your new fave read. Exploring the lives of the Latin American trans community, Biuty Queens effortlessly blends heart and humour while exploring life on the wrong side of the American dream. Ivan Monalisa Ojeda sparkles as one of 2021's boldest new writers.
Cosmopolitan, Best books to read in summer 2021