The End of San Francisco
by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
City Lights. 186 pages, $15.95
AUTHOR Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is the artistic love child of Jean Genet and David Wojnarowicz, deconstructing language swathed in unbridled sensuality, while flinging readers into a disrupted, chaotic life of queer anarchy. I first encountered Sycamore a decade ago at a D-I-Y alternative space in San Francisco, reading stories drawn from sex work.
Since that time, s/he has prolifically chronicled a life of a strident anti-assimilationism, meanwhile evolving both as a writer and activist. Through novels, anthologies, cultural writing, and community organizing, Sycamore torches normative assumptions and “the violence of the status quo,” seizing self-determination through direct action and political rage. The End Of San Francisco is an episodic memoir in which readers are brought nose-to-page with a narrative mélange of childhood anorexia, sexual abuse, and present-day attempts at healing. Images cascade and collide with one another in an accomplished literary cadenza of salvation.