Las Biuty Queens

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What to expect

‘Can’t get enough of Pose? Then Las Biuty Queens will be your new fave read. Exploring the lives of the Latin American trans community, Biuty Queens effortlessly blends heart and humour while exploring life on the wrong side of the American dream. Ivan Monalisa Ojeda sparkles as one of 2021’s boldest new writers’
Cosmopolitan, Best books to read this summer

‘The American dream as seen from the height of a good pair of heels’
Pedro Almodóvar

Las Biuty Queens: a group of trans Latinx immigrant friends who walk the streets of New York, smoke crystal meth, compete in beauty contests, look for clients on their impossibly high heels and fall prey to increasingly cruel immigration policies.

Drawing from his/her own perspective as a trans performer, sex worker and undocumented immigrant, acclaimed Chilean writer Iván Monalisa Ojeda shines a light on a group of friends trying to survive the dark side of the American Dream and introduces readers to an unfamiliar, glittering and violent New York City that will draw them in and swallow them whole.

‘This is New York, full of beauty and pain – turn away at your own peril’
Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City

Critics Review

  • An ode to New York City’s queer and trans immigrant community… Ojeda, a Chilean American writer, brings sincerity and dark humor to tales of drug addiction, prison life at Rikers Island and a five-time beauty pageant winner, drawing from personal experience as a trans performer, sex worker and undocumented immigrant.

    New York Times
  • Can’t get enough of Pose? Then Las Biuty Queens will be your new fave read. Exploring the lives of the Latin American trans community, Biuty Queens effortlessly blends heart and humour while exploring life on the wrong side of the American dream. Ivan Monalisa Ojeda sparkles as one of 2021’s boldest new writers.

    Cosmopolitan, Best books to read in summer 2021
  • Chilean American writer Ojeda dazzles and devastates in this rich collection about a group of trans Latinx immigrants as they try to make it in New York City. Stories of drug addiction and police brutality, street queens and beauty contests portray the danger, decadence, and joy in the characters’ lives… Throughout, Ojeda proves to be a captivating presence on the page.

    Publishers Weekly
  • These stories are about ‘what it means to cross from one side to the other, what it means to get home in one piece…’ A crystalline energy tears through these pages and insists we keep our eyes open. This is New York, full of beauty and pain-turn away at your own peril

    Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City
  • This story collection marks the arrival of a singular personality with a unique and quintessential American voice. You can’t just read this book; you bathe in its grit, the resilience of its characters and, most of all, its beauty. What a stunning book

    Jose Antonio Vargas, founder of Define American and author of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen
  • Iván Monalisa Ojeda brings to life a breathtaking world of camaraderie, beautiful messiness, pain, and resilience in Las Biuty Queens. He/she offers us captivating snapshots of Latinx trans sex workers living, working, and loving in New York City, telling a story close to my heart: that of keeping one another alive, fed, bailed out, and in deliciously deviant company amidst the harshness of criminalization. This book is like the money a friend slips in your pocket when they know you can’t make rent: a fortifying whisper to carry on, and carry each other with us

    Tourmaline, filmmaker and activist

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