You Only Live Twice
Sex, Death and TransitionBook - 2016
YOLT explores two artists' lives before and after transitions: from female to male, and from near-dead to alive.
The unspoken promise was that in our second life we would become the question to every answer, jumping across borders until they finally dissolve. Man and woman. Queer and straight.
What if it's not true that you only live once? In this genre-transcending book, trans writer and media artist Chase Joynt and HIV-positive movie artist Mike Hoolboom come together over the films of Chris Marker to exchange transition tales, confessional missives that map out the particularities of occupying what they call 'second lives': Chase's transition from female to male and Mike's near-death from AIDS.
Weaving cultural theory with memoir and media analysis, YOLT asks intimate questions about what it might meanto find love and hope through conversation across generations.
'Chase Joynt and Mike Hoolboom here give each other the gift so many people only dream of: ample, unhurried space to unspool crucial stories of one's life, and an attentive, impassioned, invested, intelligent receiver on the other side. The gift to the reader is both the example of their exchange, and the nuanced, idiosyncratic, finely rendered examination it offers of biopolitical experiences which, in many ways, define our times. I'm so glad they have each other, and that we have this.'
- Maggie Nelson
'Despite its complexity, the book is refreshingly clear, direct, and elegant, and pleasingly consistent in tone despite its shared authorship ... This is an ode to friendship that is as beautiful as it is revelatory.'
- Shawn Syms, Quill & Quire
'You Only Live Twice is an intelligent ode to enchantment, to the possibilities that arise in 'second lives' when all past expectations have been foreclosed.'
- Chris Kraus
'The writing is out of the park - strong and surprising, a relay race of brilliant twirling, tossing thoughts back and forth like balletic rugby bros. Joynt and Hoolboom's dances of disclosure are so courageous and generative, gifts to us all.'
- John Greyson