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Love the World Or Get Killed Trying

by Alvina Chamberland





Named a Most Anticipated Book in Nylon, Them, Ms. Magazine, Autostraddle, San Francisco Chronicle, Bay Area Reporter, LGBTQ-reads, and Write or Die-Magazine.

“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.

About the Author

Alvina Chamberland is a Swedish-US American author of predominantly literary autofiction novels. In 2015 Bokförlaget ETC published her co-authored book Allt som är Mitt: Våldtäkt, Stigmatisering och Upprättelse (English translation: All that is mine: Rape, Stigmatization and Reparation). The book received a grant from the Swedish Arts Council. In September 2018 her novel Utelåst – Uppväxt- nostalgi för freaks (Locked Out – A nostalgic account of growing up for freaks) a parody of the coming of age-genre, was published by Dockhaveri Förlag. She resides between Athens and Berlin and has no real hobbies, only intensity and serenity. Love the World or Get Killed Trying is her English language debut.

love the world or get killed trying


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.

Torrey Peters

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.

Jarett Kobek

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.

Professor Susan Stryker

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.

Rob Doyle

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.

Eliot Duncan

author of the 2023 National Book Award-nominated "Ponyboy"


“Chamberland’s spiky storytelling manages to find dark humor in her accounts of routine harassment from cis men who grope her and demand casual sex (at a bar, a man appeals her rejection by saying, “But I am the greatest!”). This thrums with life.'”

Publishers Weekly

“Alvina’s stream-of-consciousness narration is sharp, cathartic, and so worth reading.”


“At turns humorous and hungry, this stunning English-language debut explores life, love, vulnerability, rage and rapture as a modern trans woman around the world.”

Ms. Magazine

“Ushering in a glittering new literary talent”


“This wild work of autofiction is an engrossing travelogue through a trans woman’s lens.”

SF Chronicle

“Embedded with passion, urgency, queer rage, and a non stop barrage of italics, capital lettering, and impactive punctuation … This unique first-person narrated alternative novel is a shocking cold-water plunge just when you need it most”

Bay Area Reporter