Episode 237 — Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore


Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is the guest. Her new memoir, The End of San Francisco, is now available from City Lights Books.

Kirkus calls it

A blisteringly honest portrait of a young, fast and greatly misunderstood life. . . . An outspoken, gender-ambiguous author and activist reflects on her halcyon days as a wild child in San Francisco.

And The San Francisco Chronicle says

It would be easy to describe The End of San Francisco as a Joycean ‘Portrait of the Artist as a Young Queer’ (although the book’s intense stream of consciousness is reminiscent of the later, more experimental, Joyce) . . . but this is misleading. This journey of a life that begins in the professional upper-middle class (both parents are therapists) and the Ivy League and moves to hustling, drugs, activism — Sycamore was active in ACT UP and Queer Nation — and queer bohemian grunge, is profoundly American. At heart, Sycamore is writing about the need to escape control through flight or obliteration.

Monologue topics: my awkwardness, the over-analysis of my awkwardness, preemptive crucifixion, Pontius Pilate-ing.