Love and Money, Sex and Death

Love and Money, Sex and Death:A Memoir

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A breathtaking memoir of transition, history, art, and memory

After a successful career, a twenty-year marriage, and two kids, McKenzie Wark has an acute midlife crisis: coming out as a trans woman. Changing both social role and bodily form recasts her relation to the world. Transition changes what, and how, she remembers. She makes fresh sense of her past and of history by writing to key figures in her life about the big themes that haunt us all—love and money, sex and death.

In letters to her childhood self, her mother, sister, and past lovers, she writes a backstory that enables her to live in the present. The letters expand to address trans sisters lost and found, as well as Cybele, ancient goddess of trans women. She engages with the political, the aesthetic, and the numinous dimensions of trans life and how they refract her sense of who she is, who she has been, who she can still become. She confronts difficult memories that connect her mother’s early death to her compulsion to write, her communist convictions, her coming to New York, the bittersweet reality of her late transition, and the joy to be found in Brooklyn’s trans and raver communities.


  • Seeing the world unfold from the perspective of a self is easier than seeing that self as a particular folding-up of the world. MacKenzie Wark's special genius, in this wild ride across the late twentieth century and its aftermath, is to offer both perspectives at once, shimmying and shaking between the two with gleeful and brilliant abandon.

    Susan Stryker, author of Transgender History
  • McKenzie Wark's account of her life to this point fuses friendship and history, love and ideas. Radically honest and beautifully light, her memoir offers brilliant and challenging ways of understanding how fluidly gender is actually lived by those who dare. Like all of her work, it's really a personal manifesto. I was inspired and energized reading this book.

    Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick
  • A capacious offering to transfeminine truth-witty and wild, soft and scathing, broken-hearted and open-hearted. Moving toward the future by excavating the past, Wark makes space for complexity, innovation, self- determination, and communal possibility in "the sparkle of one's difference."

    Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, author of The Freezer Door