Testimony of a Shifter


An intriguing speculative novel by an acclaimed queer Mexican-American writer and scholar

by Emma Pérez 

ISBN: 978-1-55885-979-1
Publication Date: October 31, 2023
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 198


Imprisoned by the totalitarian government, Dr. Benito Espinoza practices for his weekly interrogations by recounting his story to his thirteen-year-old daughter. He tells her about turning his back on his ability to shift his gender from male to female—to Alejandra—to become a scholar in the Grand Library. Most academics are Residents who inherited their seats and believe Descendants like Ben don’t have the intellectual ability to be a person of letters.  

Ben conforms to the laws against transmuting, so he manages to secure a place in the library. His life’s purpose is to prove Descendants are as capable as Residents. But an encounter with a clever, beautiful Descendant leads to his unwitting participation in the rebellion against the Impresario and his White Guards. Soon the shifter is involved with the Rebels, trying to save a younger generation of Descendants and shifters from the horrific experiments and violence perpetrated against them. 

In a non-linear narrative in which “time is false,” author and scholar Emma Pérez offers a fascinating speculative novel about alternate histories, while pondering race, discrimination and transgender people.

WATCH Authors Speak ft. Emma Pérez