F, M or Other is an anthology of pieces that address variance in gender and identity, across poetry, prose, essays, and graphic storytelling. This variation in form and in genre and style means that as well as a range of personal and fiction experiences, it allows for a range of taste in written material too. Readers will likely have personal connections to various pieces in different ways, and not feel connected to others. This feels important in a book that is trying to question thinking about gender and present a multiplicity of answers to questions about gender.
Personal highlights were much of the poetry—especially those that made literary references, including Greek mythology and Hemingway (the latter surprisingly effective), and the opening short poem about the gender box on forms—a prose piece about drag transformation with a difference, and some gripping personal essays and letters that explore defining yourself and expanding definitions of larger concepts such as ‘womanhood’ or ‘masculinity’. Other people might prefer some of the speculative fiction or in depth essays, or find personal connections with other pieces. F, M or Other seems to be saying that it is okay to think about gender in different ways and relate to the anthology in different ways.
Angry, heartwarming, and funny, this is an anthology which can both help people begin to grapple with questions of how gender is lived and discussed and also provide relatable content and different viewpoints to people who’ve already started thinking about gender in theirs and others’ lives. It is worth picking up and giving a go, however complicated or uncomplicated your current relationship to gender is. As this is only volume 1, it will be interesting to see the range of pieces in the second volume and what experiences they depict and styles used within them.
[get it from https://knighterrantpress.com/]