Moving Forward Sideways Like A Crab

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For Moving Forward, the Toronto-based novelist Shani Mootoo returns to her native Trinidad to explore the fraught tangle of identities that marginalize people – women and queer-identified, in particular – in certain communities. Relocating to seemingly more tolerant cities, like Toronto, doesn’t change much: these places practice their own forms of social exclusion. This time around, Mootoo commits a white Canadian male protagonist to the messy task of unpacking these ideas – a canny technique in an age when the Donald Sterlings of the world are finally being called out. (Globe & Mail)

The story revolves around Jonathan, a young man raised by two mothers, but one leaves when he is 9 years old. After years of feeling abandoned, he sets off to Trinidad to find Sid, and discovers she has undergone gender reassignment surgery. The setting is wonderful and descriptive and we learn many things about both Jonathan and Sid along the way. It is a satisfying read.