Emma Watson selects Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars by Canadian writer Kai Cheng Thom for feminist book club

The novel Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars is about a young girl who flees from her grey, oppressive city in search of love.
Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars, published in 2016, was Kai Cheng Thom's first novel. (

Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl's Confabulous Memoir by Canadian writer Kai Cheng Thom has been chosen for actress Emma Watson's bimonthly feminist book club, Our Shared Shelf.

Over the course of March and April, Watson and her 223,683 fellow book club members will read and discuss Thom's novel on the website Goodreads.

The book club was launched in 2016 as part of Watson's work as UN Women Goodwill ambassador.

Despite calling itself a memoir, Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars is a novel and it follows a Chinese Canadian transgender woman as she documents her dynamic and extraordinary life.

Thom, who came out as transgender in her teens, says in a letter to Our Shelf Readers that she wanted her first novel to critically examine the genre of transgender memoir.

"For many generations, trans writers have been pigeonholed into writing memoirs that are intended to educate cis people about the reality of trans life," writes Thom.

"They were denied opportunities to publish in more creative and fantastical ways. Fierce Femmes is a response to all that, and a role reversal of the stereotypically tragic portrayal of trans women characters — rather than simply experiencing the violence of a transphobic world passively, my characters dare to fight back, even when it takes them down some morally questionable paths. Every trans woman I know in real life is a fighter, and I wanted my book to honour that."

In addition to Fierce Femmes and Notorious LiarsThom is the author of the poetry collection a place called No Homeland and the children's book From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea. She's currently working on an essay collection called I Hope We Choose Love, due out in fall of 2019.

In 2017Thom was awarded the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers, an annual Canadian prize.

Thom is the fourth Canadian to be featured on Our Shared Shelf, following Terese Marie Mailhot for Heart BerriesRupi Kaur for Milk and Honey and Margaret Atwood for The Handmaid's Tale.

"It's an incredible honour to be chosen for Emma Watson's book club — I am excited beyond belief that my little novel (which I never dreamed would even be published someday) will get the chance to be shared by so many thoughtful readers worldwide," said Thom in an email to CBC Books

"May it inspire and challenge you."