Skip to main content
A Magazine for Sheffield

Isabel Waidner We Are Made Of Diamond Stuff

A radical and innovative novel tackling queer identity, immigration, class and nationalism in modern Britain.

"I look like Eleven from Stranger Things," says the narrator at the beginning of Isabel Waidner's second novel.

Set in a run-down hotel on the Isle of Wight, this daring and experimental book tackles queer identity, immigration, class and nationalism in modern Britain against the ever-present backdrop of Brexit.

Our narrator makes a new friend, Shae, who, like the author, uses they/them pronouns, and together they take on the forces of oppression around them in a series of bizarre adventures, ranging from capitalist brand logos made flesh to the sinister hotel manager House Mother Normal, named after the novel by the avant-garde British writer B. S. Johnson.

While the narrator wrestles with the bureaucracy of trying to gain British citizenship, the pair attempt to make a Pride float and launch their own line of anti-patriarchal t-shirts. Meanwhile, animals roam the beaches and emerge from the sea, storming the hotel.

In this radical and innovative novel Waidner's sentences jostle for position on the page and even though it's a short work, their unique vision will stay with you long after you turn the final page.

Filed under: 

More Wordlife

Jim Ottewill Out of Space

Author Jim Ottewill's new book is a fantastic exploration of clubs, their associated cultures and the sanctuary they still give to generations of the nation's youth in good times and bad.

Helen Mort A Line Above the Sky – Q&A

In advance of her book launch and conversation with rock climber Shauna Coxsey MBE at the Festival of Debate on 23rd April, Helen Mort talks to Rachel Bower about mountains, motherhood and women's bodies.

Own Your Period by Chella Quint

While Chella Quint’s guide to periods for pre-teens may challenge conservative parents, it is vital and inclusive in a revolutionary way.

More Wordlife