Transformations: All this happened, more or less – Jayne Quan


Posted December 21, 2022 in Arts & Culture Features

We were honoured to present a discussion at the Dingle Literary Festival last month based on our September 2021 story, ‘Judge a Book by its Cover’. We brought Fenit resident and contributor to that article Fiachra McCarthy together with fellow designer Karen Vaughan and Fionnuala Cloke from Skein Press for a chat with our editor. Arguably, our highlight from the weekend was Jayne Quan in conversation with recent Rooney prize-winner Seán Hewitt about their recent collection of essays, All this happened, more or less which is published by Skein.

It proved to be a truly enlightening and heartening conversation about out bodies and identity. IT placed humans in a room, far away from the miserable and ill-informed mud-slinging which exists on social media. Quan is “in no particular order, a queer, trans masculine, non-binary Asian American”. Their insights about how we are all in a process of perpetual transition “constantly improving and changing and in progress” proved most illuminating.

“Whenever I see arguments about trans people made by people who do not identify as trans, I wonder what their radical acts of self-love are,” asks Quan in their essays. “I wonder if they love themselves so much that they would save their own lives if they could. I imagine that they would. I imagine that most people try to muster up enough love for themselves to make it through one day on toward the next, even if that’s all they can manage at the time. I imagine that their radical acts of self-love sometimes require the scary step of asking someone else for help.”

We were also most grateful to Jayne for turning up at our talk the following day to discuss the cover artwork by Éilís Murphy of Folded Leaf. They spoke about it being inspired by the Japanese art of kintsugi which is all about repair and embellishment.

All this happened, more or less is published by Skein Press, €14

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