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September 8, 2023
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v2.1 Reference

Dancer Dawkins and the California Kid

By Willyce Kim
Foreword by Eunsong Kim
Dancer Dawkins is a swift-footed, weed-smoking football stud. Her lover, Jessica, left their place in Los Angeles to join a Napa Valley cult, where she believes she has found salvation. Willie Gutherie, the cigar-smoking, self-proclaimed California Kid, collides with Dancer in San Francisco, and the two join forces to liberate Jessica from the clutches of cult leader Fatin Satin Aspen. Willyce Kim's campy, women-centered Western novel is a celebration of queer joy. While her vibrant vignettes are filled with California whimsy through a kaleidoscope of food and sports metaphors, darker political undercurrents of the Vietnam War and the infamous Bohemian Grove inhabit this uncanny adventure. Buckle up for this wild, spunky, and unabashedly queer ride!

About the Authors

Willyce Kim is author of three poetry books, Curtains of Light, Eating Artichokes, Under the Rolling Sky, and two novels. Kim was an early member of the Women's Press Collective in Oakland, California. Eunsong Kim is associate professor of English at Northeastern University and author of gospel of regicide and the forthcoming The Aestheticization of Property: Race and the Politics of Collecting.


"Kim's writing certainly made clear the difference between merely describing lesbian relationships and delighting in them."—Feminist Bookstore News


"Dancer Dawkins and the California Kid stretches the limits of how queer forms and Asian American antagonisms have previously been examined. No politics is declarative, no identity stable. The work asks us to imagine how the Asian American writer may push us toward and against preexisting formations."—from the foreword by Eunsong Kim

"Willyce Kim's pioneering novel about the San Francisco Bay Area in the 70s isn't the usual Asian American immigrant arrival story, nor a story about racial trauma. What is it? It's wild women on a road trip with a talking dog out to undermine the elitist social and patriarchal power structure in place for generations."—Shawn Wong, author of Homebase

"What if the revolution could be tender? Willyce Kim's groundbreaking debut novel imagined a community of women friends who love each other and move through a world they are making together out of what is left of this one—guided all the while by their loves, lusts, giggles, and struggles. It returns to us now in this beautiful new edition, a new home to these iconoclastic rebel lesbians, giving back to us a much-needed queer classic."—Alexander Chee, author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

9780295752075 : dancer-dawkins-and-the-california-kid-kim-kim
Paperback / softback
170 Pages
$19.95 USD

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