"Mattilda is a dazzling writer of uncommon truths, a challenging writer who refuses to conform to conventionality. Her agitation is an inspiration." -- Justin Torres, author of We the Animals
The End of San Francisco breaks apart the conventions of memoir to reveal the passions and perils of a life that refuses to conform to the rules of straight or gay normalcy. A budding queer activist escapes to San Francisco, in search of a world more politically charged, sexually saturated, and ethically consistent—this is the person who evolves into Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, infamous radical queer troublemaker, organizer and agitator, community builder, and anti-assimilationist commentator. Here is the tender, provocative, and exuberant story of the formation of one of the contemporary queer movement's most savvy and outrageous writers and spokespersons.
Using an unrestrained associative style to move kaleidoscopically between past, present, and future, Sycamore conjures the untidy push and pull of memory, exposing the tensions between idealism and critical engagement, trauma and self-actualization, inspiration and loss. Part memoir, part social history, and part elegy, The End of San Francisco explores and explodes the dream of a radical queer community and the mythical city that was supposed to nurture it.
More praise for The End of San Francisco:
"Bring on The End of San Francisco! And Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, whose new book has reinvented memoir without the predictable gloss of passive resolution. This book is undeniably brave and new, and the internal energy churning at its core is like nothing you've seen, heard or read before. I swear."
--T Cooper, author of Real Man Adventures
"We hear so much about coming-of-age narratives that we seldom think about going-of-age--the shutting down and closure, the making sense of where we've been. Written with grace, reserve, and the honest tremblings that come when things matter, Mattilda shows us that The End of San Francisco is really the beginning of joy."--Daphne Gottlieb, author of 15 Ways to Stay Alive, among many other books
Praise for Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore's previous work:
"Brutal, raw, cathartic and redemptive."—San Francisco Chronicle
"Startlingly bold and provocative."—Howard Zinn
"You may have thought you understood human nature before you read this book; after reading it you will be humbled by all you failed to grasp until now."—Edmund White
"You're not going to be reading anything similar elsewhere."—The Times of London
"Alternately moving and sprightly, contemplative and outraged."—Publishers Weekly