WORD Presents: Melissa Faliveno in conversation with Elena Passarello

08/04/2020 - 7:00pm

Author Melissa Faliveno joins fellow author Elena Passarello to discuss her debut essay collection, Tomboyland. RSVP here. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/115244397094/

Join us for the LIVE Virtual Chat on Zoom Tuesday, August 4th at 7pm here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87674157135

A "winning debut collection." –Publishers Weekly (starred review) 
"An expressive voice evolving deliberately, resisting having to be one thing or another." –Kirkus Reviews 
44 LGBTQ Books That Changing the Literary Landscape in 2020 – Oprah Magazine 
The Most Anticipated Debuts of 2020 – Electric Literature 

In this intrepid debut essay collection, Melissa Faliveno traverses the liminal spaces of her childhood in working-class Wisconsin and the paths she’s traveled since, compelled by questions of girlhood and womanhood, queerness and class, and how the lands of our upbringing both define and complicate us even long after we’ve left. Part personal narrative, part cultural reportage, TOMBOYLAND navigates midwestern traditions, mythologies, landscapes, and lives to explore the intersections of identity and place. From F5 tornadoes and fast-pitch softball to gun culture, strange glacial terrains, kink party potlucks, and the question of motherhood, TOMBOYLAND asks curious and critical questions about belonging and the body, isolation and community, and what we mean when we use words like womanfamily, and home.


Melissa Faliveno is a writer, editor, teacher, and author of the debut essay collection TOMBOYLAND, published by Topple Books in August 2020. The former senior editor of Poets & Writers Magazine, her essays and interviews have appeared in Esquire, Bitch, Ms. Magazine, Prairie Schooner, DIAGRAM, and Midwestern Gothic, among others, and received a notable selection in Best American Essays 2016. She has taught nonfiction writing at Sarah Lawrence Collegeand Catapult, and starting this fall will be the 2020-2021 Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Originally from small-town Wisconsin, she currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. www.melissafaliveno.com

Elena Passarello’s essays have recently appeared in National Geographic, Paris Review, and Best American Science and Nature Writing. She is the author of two award-winning collections, Let Me Clear My Throat and Animals Strike Curious Poses, the latter of which has been translated into four languages and was listed as one of the best collections of the decade by LitHub. A 2015 recipient of the Whiting Award in nonfiction, she teaches at Oregon State University and can be heard weekly on the radio in the PRX arts and culture show LiveWire!


Tomboyland is everything I want an essay collection to be: beautiful, smart, difficult, honest, hopeful, and haunting, just like the experiences it depicts. It is a book that charts the history of a body against the land that defines it. It is a song for anyone who felt at once estranged and inextricably bound to a place. Melissa Faliveno has written a gorgeously complex ode to the Midwest that is destined to be passed urgently from hand to hand, an anthem sung by all the misfits in those vast places who have not yet seen themselves written.” —Melissa Febos, author of Whip Smart and Abandon Me

Tomboyland: Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9781542014199
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Topple Books & Little a - August 1st, 2020

A fiercely personal and startlingly universal essay collection about the mysteries of gender and desire, of identity and class, of the stories we tell and the places we call home.