Little Underworld
Bones Worth Breaking

Rough Trade

9780374272685 fc %281%29
Hardcover, MCD × FSG, 2024
Carrasco  katrina %28c%29 jennifer boyle

Katrina Carrasco

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Washington Territory, 1888. With contacts on the docks and in the railroad, and with a buyers’ market funneling product their way, Alma Rosales and her opium-smuggling crew are making a fortune. They spend their days moving product and their nights at the Monte Carlo, the center of Tacoma’s queer scene, where skirts and trousers don’t signify and everyone’s free to suit themselves.

Then two local men end up dead, with all signs pointing to the opium trade, and a botched effort to disappear the bodies draws lawmen to town. Alma scrambles to keep them away from her operation but is distracted by the surprise appearance of Bess Spencer—an ex-Pinkerton's agent and Alma’s first love—after years of silence. A handsome young stranger comes to town, too, and falls into an affair with one of Alma's crewmen. When he starts asking questions about opium, Alma begins to suspect she’s welcomed a spy into her inner circle, and is forced to consider how far she’ll go to protect her trade.

Katrina Carrasco plunges readers into the vivid, rough-and-tumble world of the late-1800s Pacific Northwest in this genre- and gender-blurring novel. Rough Trade follows Carrasco’s critically acclaimed debut The Best Bad Things and reimagines queer communities, the turbulent early days of modern media and medicine, and the pleasures—and price—of satisfying desire.

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  • Rough Trade is the kind of high-octane queer adventure that the historical record can point us to in scraps of diaries and newspaper accounts of ‘female bandits,’ but rarely do we get to luxuriate inside the lives of these bad-ass queer ancestors in such glorious fiction.”

    —Hugh Ryan, author of When Brooklyn Was Queer

  • “Cunning and wildly compelling, Rough Trade is as lush as the smell of good tobacco, and just as dangerously addictive.”

    —Lev AC Rosen, author of The Bell in the Fog

  • Rough Trade is a thrilling, fascinating game of shifting alliances and betrayals. The blazing heart of the novel is queer joy—queer spaces of the past brought to life in roaring, Technicolor glory, an unforgettable found family of rebels and outlaws, and timeless questions about the radical choices and sacrifices necessary to live an authentic life. I loved this book.”

    —Kim Fu, author of Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century

  • “In Rough Trade, Katrina Carrasco gives us the queer body as a source of joy. It’s a delight to read of unexpected freedoms in our queer past."

    —Nicola Griffith, author of Menewood

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