Love the World Or Get Killed Trying
WINNER OF THE 2022 NOEMI PRESS BOOK AWARD IN PROSE
“Perhaps some hearts are so big they must constantly burst and break.”
Through playful poetic prose, sharp social commentary and self-deprecating gallows humor Love the World or Get Killed Trying dives into the mind of Alvina, a trans woman on the eve of turning 30. The reader is invited to follow her journey through the breathtaking wilderness of Iceland and busy city boulevards of Berlin and Paris as she probes questions of eternity, sexuality, longing, death, love, and how hard it is to remain soft when you’re a ceaseless target of straight men’s secret lust and open disgust. This novel tackles universal issues through a trans woman’s specific lens – insisting on these experiences speaking to far more than just issues of sexuality and gender.
Reaching its climax through an urgent wildfire scream-of-consciousness, cry-of-love-manifesto, Love the World or Get Killed Trying is a raw and vulnerable work of magical brutalist autofiction; abstract in the sense of poetically digging beneath the surface, and experimental in the sense of trying to find out new things and express them in new ways, while concretely asserting that if trans women one day collectively outed every man who seeks them out, a full-blown revolution would ensue by nightfall.
Alvina Chamberland writes with every part of herself. Hers is an honesty in perfect balance with generosity, and reading this book is like receiving an ongoing gift.
author of the New York-Times Bestseller "Detransition, Baby"
Reading Love the World or Get Killed Trying is like entering a universe in which the very best parts of Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s writing– the narrative drive, the tonality, the immediacy– are fused to an unparalleled interrogation of raw human need. Every epoch creates its own people. With action spanning from Reykjavik to Berlin to Paris, Alvina Chamberland has given us a unique gift: a first person account from a child of the new dawn. A book of huge value.
author of the international bestseller "I Hate the Internet"
A work that literally begins with repeated refusals—NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!—ultimately mouths, against the odds, a throaty carnal YES to life in all its broken, impermanent glory. A beautiful book about being here, for now.
author of "Transgender History"
Like a transgender collision of Valerie Solanas and Michel Houellebecq, Alvina Chamberland writes with a passion, rage, and longing that blaze on the page. The urgency of her writing — her demand for connection, recognition, dignity — is sweetened by a playful sense of humour, a disarming candour, and an unfettered, eccentric charm. Hers is a voice to fall for.
author of "Threshold" and "Here Are The Young Men"
Chamberland shows us, in immersive, stream of consciousness genius, that to be a transsexual is to love the world at all gnarly costs. A generous and staggering novel. Raw, intimate, necessary and poetic, Love the World or Get Killed Trying is an affirmation, a shimmering catalogue of a brilliant, particular mind that binds her experience to a universal swell. Lispector and Woolf’s virtuosic daughter. A must read.
author of the 2023 National Book Award-nominated "Ponyboy"