Rough Trade: A Novel (Hardcover)
Loyalty Silver Spring has Moved!
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.
About the Author
Katrina Carrasco holds an MFA in fiction from Portland State University, where she received the Tom and Phyllis Burnam Graduate Fiction Scholarship and the Tom Doulis Graduate Fiction Writing Award. Her work has appeared in Witness magazine, Post Road Magazine, Quaint Magazine, and other journals. The Best Bad Things is her first novel.
“Katrina Carrasco’s 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
“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
“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
“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
"Rough Trade is beautifully immersive. Stevedores, silk-clad ladies, and newspapermen grasp for power, and for each other, as this sharply drawn novel builds to a gripping conclusion that’s just as tense and
clever as Alma. I loved it.”
—KATHARINE BEUTNER, author of Killingly
“Clever and twisty, stark and swift. If the gender-fluid, leads-with-their-jaw antihero doesn’t get you—and how can they not?—then the blood-thumping plot will.”
—KAWAI STRONG WASHBURN, author of Sharks in the Time of Saviors
“Deliciously illicit, whiskey-soaked, and awash in impossible choices, Rough Trade grabs the reader with
all the strength of its crate-hauling stevedores. Katrina Carrasco excels at creating characters we both love and hate as they drink, fight, and screw their way through Tacoma’s criminal (and queer) underworld. You won’t be able to put down this powder keg of a book until you find out just how it all goes down—or blows sky high.”
—CARRIE CALLAGHAN, author of A Light of Her Own and Salt the Snow