Subversion has been the dominant orientation in queer studies, not invitation. We are to refuse and resist and destroy and fuck it all up. The we-ness of this we emerges through this shared resistance to normativity and its promises and lies. Occasionally, we are permitted tenderness, but it is often so fleeting as to be insignificant. Occasionally, we are permitted vulnerability, but we know the dangers of being vulnerable, so we sharpen our wits and use lacerating prose. And so, Ashon T. Crawley's The Lonely Letters arrives as a wonderful surprise: it invites us to sit with vulnerability, and to ask what vulnerability might offer our world-imagining practices. To ask if we can be a different we, attentive to our soft places and our desire for relation.

The Lonely Letters unfolds over six chapters: “and,” “breath,” “shouting,” “noise,” “tongues,” and “nothing.” Each chapter is staged as a series of unanswered...

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