With this constellation of expansive essays on topics ranging from butchness, the border, and the poetics of adobe brickmaking to heartbreak, durational performance art, and Laura Aguilar’s lesbian bar portraiture, Raquel Gutierrez offers a deeply-felt ode to the transformative beauty of the Southwestern landscape and to her/their own bright tapestry of intergenerational queer community.
A meditation on southwestern terrains, intergenerational queer dynamics, and surveilled brown artists that crosses physical and conceptual borders. Part butch memoir, part ekphrastic travel diary, part queer family tree, Raquel Guti rrez's debut essay collection, Brown Neon, gleans insight from the sediment of land and relationships. For Guti rrez, terrain is essential to understanding that no story, no matter how personal, is separate from the space where it unfolds. Whether contemplating the value of adobe as both vernacular architecture and commodified art object, highlighting the feminist wounding and transphobic apparitions haunting the multigenerational lesbian social fabric, or recalling a failed romance, Guti rrez traverses complex questions of gender, class, identity, and citizenship with curiosity and nuance.