Books

Ivan Coyote publishing collection of pandemic correspondence, to be published in 2021

Care Of will feature the author’s personal correspondence written during the pandemic lockdown. It was acquired as part of a two-book deal with McClelland & Stewart. 
Ivan Coyote is a storyteller and author from Yukon. (CBC Arts)

Award-winning author Ivan Coyote's collection Care Of is set to be published June 8, 2021. It was acquired as part of a two-book deal with McClelland & Stewart. 

Care Of is a collection of moving correspondence the author wrote in the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown. It features letters and the responses Coyote sent in the months since lockdown.

The correspondence, which dates back to 2009, ranges from personal letters to Facebook messages to notes received after performing on-stage, Coyote told CBC Radio host Dave White on Airplay. 

"They are all special letters I put in a file. I always said if and when I get the time to sit down properly and answer these people with the time and care and compassion that their letter warrants — if that ever happens, I'll do it," Coyote said.

When the pandemic shut everything down in mid-March, Coyote finally had the time.

"It's an 11-year-long conversation about family, loss, grief, hope, compassion, addiction, pain, transphobia, homophobia, and people coming around on those things. There's a lot of learning in there, on my part and everyone else's too. It's a long and beautiful conversation."

Coyote, who has written more than a dozen books, created four short films and released three albums combining storytelling with music, is known for exploring gender identity and queer liberation in their writing. Their memoir Tomboy Survival Guide, which reflects on growing up in Yukon, coming out and what it's like to live in defiance of the gender binary, was a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction in 2017. The memoir was also longlisted for Canada Reads in 2018. 

Coyote is also the author of Rebent Sinner, an essay collection from various aspects of their life, from helping younger LGBTQ folks to dealing with legislation and governments to being part of protests. Their other books include Gender Failure, young adult story collection One in Every Crowd and the novel Bow Grip

Coyote won the 2020 Freedom to Read Award, in recognition of their body of work that examines class, gender identity and social justice.

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