R. B. Lemberg’s dazzling THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES already has established itself as a queer must-read
In REVUU (Autumn 2020), Kris van der Voorn loves R. B. Lemberg’s THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES.
A breath of fresh air is blowing through the literary scene, and amidst it is the voice of R.B. Lemberg. This queer, bigender immigrant from Eastern Europe and Israel has taken it upon themselves to force feed the public a beautiful debut masterpiece of inclusivity and diversity: THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES.
In this stunning debut, Lemberg raises matters that normally would be too sensitive to discuss, had it not been for their own experience with them. Most poignant is their treatment of trans-related topics. In addition to showing the struggle that can exist in a trans person’s life, Lemberg also celebrates the experience of being able to be one’s true self. Lemberg shows this conflict of identity within ‘The Nameless Man’, as he struggles with his former life, but they are delicate with how this experience is portrayed. His story feels like a love letter to the character and his struggles.
THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES already has established itself as a queer must-read. It normalises the notion of same sex and polyamorous love, of genderfluid characters and the use of pronouns other than “he” or “she”. At the same time, it is a book that does so in such a fluent, easily explained manner that no reader would ever feel like they require more knowledge of queer jargon to understand the story. In short: In THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES, Lemberg succeeds not only at constructing a fictional world that displays all the most important political points of the LGBTQIA+ community, they did so in a non-threatening and remarkably smart way. The book enacts the commitment to inclusivity it describes. Certainly, it is a debut, and there are some small elements that Lemberg ought to improve upon in future work. For example, they could have been more elaborate on storylines and character development. For a first-time author, however, Lemberg does it so well, and it is exciting to think about what can come after this. They have woven a fairy tale of inclusion that rises to the complexities of our time.
FOREST OF GLORY wants to read the book.
I love Lemberg’s Birdverse stories, so I’m very excited for this novella set in that world! It features trans elders and textiles!
LGBTQ READS offers up recommendations including on for THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES.