Skip to content

Small Beauty


Winner of 29th Annual Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Fiction
2016 Writers’ Trust of Canada Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers, Finalist

Small Beauty tells the story of Mei, a mixed race trans woman managing the death of her cousin, the ways she contorts to navigate racism and transphobia, and her desire for community as she takes an opportunity to leave the city and revisit a town from her family’s past, where she discovers queer family history while parsing through her own anger and trauma.

Also available from Apple Books, and from our website as an EPUB, and as a PDF.

Shop orders can be sent to addresses within Canada and the US only. We will send out orders within a few days of receipt, by regular mail, via Canada Post (often without tracking, for individual small orders). Shipping times vary depending on the size of package and location, and we usually ship from Montreal. If you need your order by a specific date, please get in touch!

For all other individual orders, or if you would like a PDF or EPUB version (depending on the title) of any book for accessibility reasons, please contact us.

To order our books at a retail or wholesale discount, contact LitDistCo in Canada, AK Press in the United States, and Turnaround Publisher Services in the UK (and beyond).



Author: jia qing wilson-yang
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-0-9940471-2-0

Cover by LOKI Design

  • Paperback, 12.8 x 20 x 1.1 cm
  • 176 pages
  • 233 grams
  • Printed in Quebec

Cycling through time, points of view, and rural and city life, the novel introduces us to Mei’s community in fictional Dundurn and Herbertsville, loosely based on Southern Ontario places: Annette and Connie, other Asian trans women from the drop-ins; Sandy, Mei’s older cousin and constant (if aggressive) support; Diane, an older lesbian with a pick-up and secret links to Mei’s blood family; and Nelson, a presence lost before found, whose story is told in pictures sewn into a suitcase. Interspersed with one culminating night-time lake scene, the book carries us through these stories and towards their completion as the frustrating, necessary web that keeps Mei attached to the world.

“Literature needs Small Beauty.” —Tethered by Letters

“A quiet, gorgeous meditation on grief, race, and community, Wilson-Yang’s writing more than delivers on the title’s promise.” —Lambda Literary

“Wilson-Yang’s writing is uncommon, combining a rare talent for poetic description with a solid grasp on the techniques of prose.” —Plenitude

“Some of the most gorgeous writing trans lit has been blessed with.” —The Winnipeg Review

“Wilson-Yang deftly weaves and unweaves the threads of narrative tropes that have come to dominate the telling of the stories of trans women, lesbians, migrants, and Chinese North Americans.” —Autostraddle

Small Beauty’s quiet power is well on its way to much-deserved acclaim.” —Montreal Review of Books

“Evocative of classic Canadiana, Wilson-Yang’s book offers a fresh revisioning of the settler/colonial gothic, with one foot in a magic realist lyric and the other in regionalist gritlit.” —Vela Magazine