The Call-Out: A Novel in Rhyme
A fast-paced, debut tragicomedy of manners written in verse about queer (mostly trans) women that is funny, literary, philosophical, witty, sometimes bitchy and sometimes heartbreaking.
Aashvi, Kate, Bette, Keiko, Gaia, and Day are six queer, mostly trans women surviving and thriving in Brooklyn. Visiting all the fixtures of fashionable 21st century queer society—picnics, literary readings, health conferences, drag shows, punk houses, community accountability processes, Grindr hookups—The Call-Out also engages with pressing questions around economic precarity, sexual consent, racism in queer spaces, and feminist theory, in the service of asking what it takes to build, or destroy, a marginalized community.
A novel written in verse, The Call-Out recalls the Russian literary classic Eugene Onegin, but instead of 19th century Russian aristocrats crudely solved their disagreements with pistols, the participants in this rhyming drama have developed a more refined weapon, the online call-out, a cancel-culture staple. In this passionate tangle of modern relationships, where a barbed tweet can be as dangerous as the narrator’s bon-mots, Cat Fitzpatrick has fashioned a modern novel of manners that gives readers access to a vibrant cultural underground.
Praise for The Call-Out: A Novel in Rhyme
"Cat Fitzpatrick’s genre-bending “novel in verse” about queer (mostly trans) women is an homage to the Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, but set in contemporary Brooklyn. The weapon at these women’s disposal is a charged one–the internet call out, a symptom of cancel culture. At stake is the precarity of a marginalized community, a picture developed in dark and hilarious rhyming form."—Electric Literature
"funny and queer and honest and dark and daring and brilliant"—Michelle Tea, author of Black Wave
"The sweetest, truest tale in verse
Of how we sloshed and spoke and swived.
Of broken hearts and sweet reverse,
'Trans lit' and all it catalyzed."
—Jackie Ess, author of Darryl
"Cat Fitzpatrick is on the short list of contemporary writers whose work is actually fun"
—Tommy Pico, Author of IRL
"How does Fitzpatrick do it? How does she see it all so clearly--the grace of trans women who play Zelda in gross apartments, the social maneuver behind the moral absolute, the loopy mores of the picnic, the queer lit reading, the library date? She's the heiress to Thackeray and Rochester, and we're so lucky to have this gossipy, glamorous, and vital novel: one all about justice and the messy queers who have to build it."— Jeanne Thornton, author of Summer Fun
"For fuck's sake! Am I seriously telling you that a novel-in-verse about Brooklyn trans girl drama is not only one of the funniest things I've read this year, but also one of the most skewering, perceptive, and empathetic looks at modern life?!? Yes I am, because it's absolutely true. If you don't read The Call-Out now, you'll just be sad your friends did it first."—Casey Plett, author of Little Fish
"Cat Fitzpatrick’s novel-in verse, The Call-Out, turns t-girl gossip into fine art"—McKenzie Wark, author of Reverse Cowgirl
"This is just fucking sonnets, Cat."—Imogen Binnie, author of Nevada